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Schles Jnger Library 
Radcliffe College 

Culinary CoUection 



. I 






It ' • ^ 












^Etn Sorb: 




•*I could write a better book of cookery than has ever yet been written ^ 
it should be a book on philosophical principles." — Dr. Johnson. 



< • 


Bhillat-Savabin and the ^Esthetics op thb 

X AI>Li£i ••• ••• ••• ••• 

Dialogue between the Author and ms Friend 
Author's Preface 

Fundamental Truths op the Science 
I. On the Senses 
IL On the Sense op Taste 
III. On Gastronomy 
rV. On the Appetite ... 
V. On Food 

VL Special Kinds op Food 
VII. Theory op Frying 
Vm. On Thirst 
IX. On Drinks 
X. On the End op the World 
XL On the Love op Good Living ... 
XII. On People pond op Good Living 

XIII. Gastronomic Tests 

XIV. The Pleasures op the Table 
XV. Halts op a Hunting Party 

XVI. On Digestion 

XVIL On Best 

XVIIL On Sleep , 

XIX. On Dreams 



•• « 




.• * 




















•• » 













XX. Ok Best, Sleep, and Dbeavs, as they ace 

Inpluenced by Diet ... ... ... 172 

XXI. On Corpulence ... .. ... 177 

XXII.. On the Peevention oe Cure op Corpulence 192 

XXIII. On Leanness ... ... ... ... 199 

XXIV. On FASTma 203 

XXV. On Exhaustion and Death ... ... 205 

- XXVI. Philosophical History op Cookery (Ancient) 208 

XXVIL Philosophioal History op Cookery (Modern) 220 

XXVIII. On the Parisian Dining-Houses .. ... 228 

XXIX. Gastronomic Principles put into Practice 235 

XXX. Gastronomic Mythology ... ... ... 238 

Transition ... ... „, ... 239 


The Curl's Omelette ... ... .;. ... 243 

Eggs in Gravy ... ... ... ... ... 247 

A National Victory ... ... .*. ... 248 

Defeat of a General ... ... ... ... 253 

The Gastronome Abroad ... ... > ... ... 254 

More Becollections of an Exile ... ... ... 257 

A Bunch OF Asparagus ... ... ... ... 261 

The Fondue ... ... ... ... ... 263 

The Chevaliers and Abbes ... ... ... ... 264 

Miscellanea ... ... ... ... .. 266 

Visit to an Abbey ... ... ... ••. ... 267 

The Gastronome in Luck ... ... ... 270 

Poetry ... ... ••• ••• ••. ... 275 

Historical Elegy ... ... ... ..« 278 




Cookery is not only an art, but a master-art. 

Saturday Beview, 

hpxn 'CM pi^a traanos ayoBoVf ri rris yourrpos TiBovri, 

Atiien. Deijp, vii 5« 

That charming student of humanity, Montaigne, who 
was the favourite author of Shakespeare, and who 
more than any other Frenchman has * coloured the 
universal thought of the world,' might well at first 
sight appear as the strongest possible contrast to 
our modern Savarin. The one retiring to his 
quaint old Gascon castle, in a wild country, still 
remote from towns and highways, to shut himself 
up for the latter half of his life with his books, and 
ponder on his great theme, Humani nihil a me 
cUienum puto ; the other, always a man of the world> 




nothing if not genuinely French, and testing every- 
thing by the Parisian standards: the one, a stoic 
(in theory, at least), solitary, all his thoughts tinged 
with melancholy ; the other, an enthusiastic 
Epicurean, sociable, with an intense enjoyment of 

Yet in one principal quality and most distinctive 
feature they are alike. They are both full of the 
"I" — both conscious of it; both their works are 
steeped in subjectivity, and both owe to its presence 
much of their charm. Montaigne, indeed, is him- 
self the subject of his book ; and as to his opinion 
on any matter, he gives it, he says, not as being a 
good one, but as being his. Savarin, again, makes 
no other excuse for the use of the " me " than the 
garrulity of age — a plea which is unnecessary to 
secure plenary indulgence from most of his readers. 
They, like Balzac, find that, while there is nothing 
more intolerable than the " I " of ordinary writers, 
" that of Brillat-Savarin is adorable." 

Indeed, it is by the association of dissimilar ideas 
that Montaigne comes to be mentioned here. The 
thought of Savarin, "the high-priest of gastronomy," 
with his sometimes comic affectation of grandilo- 
quence, at once suggested a caustic passage, in the 
first book of the Essays, which is aimed at the 
* science de gueule,' and especially at the pompous 


terms and fine language used by an Italian cook in 
discoursing thereupon, "with a magisterial solenmity 
and countenance, as if he had been discussing a 
weighty point in theology." On the other hand, 
this incidental notice in Montaigne has much value 
and significance here, as showing that three hundred 
years ago the French were not only inferior to the 
Italians in cookery, but could afford, they imagined, 
to smile at the technical terms and scientific pre- 
tensions of an art upon which they were afterwards 
to specially plume themselves. 

Cookery certainly held a very different position 
in the French mind when, during the peace that 
followed Waterloo, Brillat-Savarin turned his 
thoughts to the aesthetics of the dining-table. 
Culinary art and the love of good living, which 
Montaigne nicknamed "the gullet-science," had 
in the mean time passed through several phases; 
the chief developments and refinements being under 
Louis XIV., Louis XV., and the Kegent. During 
the first of those reigns, indeed, cookery was in 
honour, not only with princes, but with such states- 
men as Colbert, such soldiers as the great Conde 
and such persons of wit and culture as Madame de 
Sevigne. Many readers of that writer's inimitable 
letters will recall a graphic picture she gives of the 
importance attached to the oiiice and character of a 


maitre cTJiotel like Vatel, not only by himself or 
Conde his master, but in the eyes of courtiers, 
princes, and even the king. She surrounds the 
death of Vatel with almost as much of the heroic 
as that of Turenne. 

Becoming more refined and also more popular 
under Louis XV., as our author himself tells under 
the heading " Philosophical History," it was during 
the Eegency, and by the systematic application of 
the chemistry of the period, that gastronomy first 
had any claim to rank as a science. 

Surviving the violence and social distractions of 
the Kevolution and the First Empire, gastronomic 
art acquired new vigour in France after Waterloo, 
under the active patronage of Louis XVIII., and to 
the admiration of our appreciative author. No 
doubt this powerful reaction in favour of his 
favourite study, occurring during those last years of 
his life, first suggested to Savarin the propriety of 
setting down in order his thoughts and conclusions 
upon an art which had become so important that 
Lady Morgan, describing the France of that period, 
calls it " the standard and gauge of modern civiliza- 

Savarin's qualifications for this task are abundantly 
proved by his performance of it. His whole life 
was a preparation; and throughout his work we 


find himseK and his subject indissolubly welded 
together. All his varied experience, whether pro- 
fessional, political, or as a man of the world, is ran- 
sacked for illustrations, and every country he has 
visited is laid under contribution. Yet such is his 
artistic instinct, that there is no personal allusion 
but fits in naturally with the subject. The various 
threads of individuality are so interwoven with the 
general tissue, that the result is a complete and har* 
monious whole. 

His native place was the small town Belley, in 
the Ehone valley at the foot of the Alps ; and there 
are many illustrations drawn from that country or 
its people. Other recollections suitable to his sub- 
ject are derived from his escape to Switzerland 
during the Keign of Terror, as well as from an 
adventurous journey previously made to secure a 
"safe-conduct." The latter occasion brought his 
Epicurean nature into strong relief; for although 
his head was at stake, he not only "snatched a 
fearful joy " by making a hearty dinner with some 
chance companions at a country-inn, and singing 
them a song made for the occasion, but spent the 
evening with enthusiastic delight in the company 
of the dread representative who had just refused 
the all-important document. Other allusions are to 
Holland, to London (including, of course, Leicester 

^ I 


Square) and the English, and more frequently and 
fully to the United States. Paris, however, naturally 
outweighs all the rest ; like a true Frenchman, the 
brilliant capital is for him everything— the world in 

Again, his professional and social position amply 
provided Savarin with opportunities of studying 
French gastronomy. His family had for generations 
been barristers and magistrates, and he himself com- 
menced life as an advocate with such distinction that, 
at the age of thirty-four, in 1789, he was elected one 
of the members of the Constituent Assembly. After 
sharing in the legislative labours of that historical 
body, he became successively President of the Civil 
Tribunal of the Department de I'Ain, and one of the 
judges of the important Cour de Cassation, then 
newly instituted. This last high oflSce he filled so 
worthily that, after the Eeign of Terror and an exile 
of three years, spent principally in the United 
States of America, he was again made judge in that 
court, and continued so, under the Directory, the 
Consulate, the Empire, and the Eestoration, imtil 
his death in 1826. 

Thus we find Savarin sitting at banquets given 
by the highest functionaries — witness his picture 
of the awful effects of unpunctuality at the house 
of Cambaceres, where he was invited to dinner — ^a 


table of such importance that Napoleon utilized it 
for State purposes. Savarin also refers to Talleyrand 
as a worthy gastronome; and en revanche one of 
the few personal traits of Savarin not told by 
himself is due to that distinguished friend. The 
story isi moreover, valuable as a proof of the 
hereditary quality of taste and genius. Savarin, 
halting one day at Sens, when on his way to Lyons, 
sent, according to his invariable custom, for the 
cook, and asked what he could have for dinner. 
" Little enough," was the reply. " But let us see," 
retorted Savarin ; " let us go into the kitchen and 
talk the matter over." There he found four turkeys 
roasting. "Why!" exclaimed he, "you told me 
you had nothing in the house ! let me have one of 
these turkeys." " Impossible ! " said the cook ; " they 
are all bespoken by a gentleman upstairs." " He 
must have a large party to dine with him, then ? " 
" No ; he dines by himself." " Indeed ! " said the 
gastronome ; " I should like much to be acquainted 
with the man who orders foiir turkeys for his own 
eating." The cook was sure the gentleman would 
be glad of his acquaintance ; and Savarin, on going 
to pay his respects to the stranger, found him to be 
no other than his own son. "What! you rascal! 
four turkeys all to yourself!" "Yes, sir," said 
Savarin junior; "you know that when we have a 


turkey at home you always reserve for yourself the 
parsorCs nose: I was resolved to regale myself for 
once in my life ; and here I am, ready to begin, 
although I did not expect the honour of your 
company." * 

The " Physiologic du Gout " was published within 
a year of Savarin's death, yet he was gratified by 
seeing his work crowned with extraordinary success, 
speedily becoming (to use a phrase of Balzac's) the 
veritable decalogue of gastronomers — irrefragable 
as the laws of Kepler. Its success is certainly 
largely due to the beauty of the style, and to the 
original yet charming maimer of the author. There 
are not only the clearness and elegance and felicity 
which are impressed on all good French writing, but 
his style is also so cheerful and picturesque that 
it positively smiles; one comic charm being the 
grand importance which he affects to attach to 
his subject. Had Savarin lived and written in 
the country of Walton's "Angler," or White's 
" Selbourne," " the Physiologie du Gout " would 
certainly have again and again pleasantly occupied 
the learned leisure of admiring commentators, and 
given occasion for many ingenious notes and ex- 
haustive illustrations, biographical and antiquarian 

* A similar story is told of La Beyni^rc, a celebrated gastroaome 
of the last century. — (See Littr^, under Sqt.) 


as well as gastrological. The French, however, 
do not distinguish their favourite authors in the 
same way ; nor does there appear to be any French 
edition of the " Physiologic du Gout " with notes. 

The present attempt to present Brillat-Savarin in 
English dress is due to a statement made last year 
in '* Notes and Queries," to the effect that a trans- 
lation was and had long been a decided want in 
English libraries. The notes inserted here and 
there by the translator will be easily distinguished 
from those of the French text — either intrinsically 
or by the latter being always marked by single 
inverted commas, 

R E. A. 

August IC^A, 187a 






r Friend. This morning, at breakfast, my wife and 

I have in our wisdom decided that your " Thoughts 
on Gastronomy " must be printed as soon as 

Author. What woman wills, God wills. In that 
single sentence is summed up all the ethics of the 
Parisians. But I am under a different jurisdiction ; 
and a bachelor 

F. Good heavens! The bachelors are as much 
under the rule as other men, as we know sometimes 

* This conversation is by no means merely imaginary. So real, 
indeed, is the character of the friend, that his " biography," oo- 
cnpying several pages, was originally appended to this dialogue. 
It is now omitted, as being decidedly a hor9 d*(xuw€ too many. 


only too well ! But in this case you can't get oflF 
on the score of bachelorship ; for my wife declares 
that she can insist upon it, because it was while 
visiting her in the country that you wrote the first 
pages of your book. 

A. My dear fellow, you know very well how I 
respect the ladies ; more than once you have praised 
my submission to their commands, and, like some 
others, you used to say I should make an excellent 
husband. Yet, for all that, I shall not get it 

F. And why? 

A» Because, after a professional life of earnest 
work, I am afraid of being thought a mere trifler 
by people reading only the title of my book. 

F. How absurd ! As if thirty-six years of public 
and uninterrupted duties had not established for 
you a character quite the opposite ! Besides, we 
believe, my wife and I, that everybody will wish to 
read you. 

A. Eeally? 

F. The learned will read you in order to discover 
what you have always been hinting at. 

A. That is quite possible. 

F. The women will read you because they will 
easily see that 


A. Spare my feeUngs, my dear friend ; I am now 
old and full of wisdom. 

F. Men fond of good living will read you, because 
you do them justice, and so their .proper rank in 
society is at last assigned to them. 

A, In that instance you are certainly right. Who 
would believe that those honest gentlemen could 
have been so long misunderstood ! I look upon 
them with all the feelings of a father — such hand- 
some, bright-eyed fellows I 

jP. Besides, have you not often told us that such 
a work as yours was needed in our libraries ? 

A. I have said so, and it is the fact, I will not 
swerve a jot from that opinion, but stick to it like a 

F. Why, you talk like a man whose mind is 
quite made up ; so let us go together and see 

A. No, no ! If authorship has its pleasures, it 
has also its thorns ; and I leave the whole business, 
as a legacy, to my heirs. 

F. But, in the mean time, you wrong your friends, 
acquaintances, and contemporaries. Do you miean 
to say you can do such a thing ? 

A. My heirs! you forget them! I have heard 
say that the shades of the departed generally derive 
pleasure from the praises of the living. It is a sort 


of beatitude that I wish to keep in store for the 
other world. 

F. But what certainty have yon that .those 
praises will be bestowed in the proper quarter? 
Are you certain of the care and diligence of your 
heirs ? 

A. Well, I have no grounds for thinking that 
they would neglect this one duty, since on account 
of it they will be excused many others. 

F. Would they, could they, have for your book 
that father's affection, those author's attentions, 
without which a work always makes its first public 
appearance awkwardly ? 

A, I shall leave the manuscript corrected, fairly 
copied out, and fully equipped, with nothing to do 
but print it. 

F. What about the chapter of accidents ? 'Tis 
arrangements of that sort, alas 1 that have ruined 
many valuable works; such as that of the dis- 
tinguished Le Cat, on the " State of the Soul during 
Sleep " — the labour of a lifetime, 

A. That certainly was a great loss, and I by no 
means hope to occasion similar regrets. 

F. Be sure of this — that, in settling matters with 
the Church, the lawyers, the faculty, and with each 
other, heirs have quite enough on their hands ; and 


that there would not be time, even if there were the 
inclination, to give full attention to all the manifold 
details connected with the publication of even a 
small book. 

A. But the title ! The subject I And what about 
ill-natured wags of critics ? 

F, At the single word " gastronomy" every one 
pricks up his ears : it is qiiite the rage. And as for 
the waggish critics, they are as fond of good living 
as other men. So set your mind perfectly at ease. 
Besides, you surely know that personages of the 
greatest weight have sometimes produced light and 
amusing works. Montesquieu is an instance. 

A. {eagerly). Upon my word, you are right ! He 
wrote the " Temple of Gnidus " ; and there would 
surely be more real advantage in the study of that 
which is every day the want, the pleasure, and the 
occupation of man, than in telling us what was done 
or said, more than two thousand years ago, by pKO 
youngsters chasing each other through Grecian 

F. You give in, then, at last ? 

A. I give in ! Not at all. What you have heard 
is but a touch of nature betraying the author ; * 

* Perhaps the original phrase here, *' to show the tips of his 
ears," is worth noting. It is curiously borrowed from the fable ol 
the ass in the lion's skin, thus meaning, to betray uninteu^ 
tionaUy one's mind or disposition by some word or action. 


which recalls to my mind a scene in an English 
comedy that once greatly amnsed me. It occurs in 
a piece called "The Natural Daughter," I think, 
and I should like to have your opinion upon it. 

Some Quakers are introduced ; a class of men who, 
as you know, of course, " thee " and " thou " every- 
body, wear clothes of the simplest kind, never serve 
as soldiers, never swear — even in a court of law, — do 
everything with a dull gravity, and in particular 
must never put themselves in a passion. Well, the 
hero of the piece is a handsome young Quaker, who, 
in spite of the brown coat, large, broad-brimmed 
hat, and straight hair with which he appears on the 
stage, falls deeply in love. Accordingly, a puppy 
of a rival takes courage from that appearance and 
demeanour, and so makes fun of him and insults 
him, that the young man, getting gradually heated 
with anger, at last becomes furious, and gives the 
coxcomb a thorough thrashing. 

That punishment bestowed, he instantly recovers 
his former demeanour, and collects himself, exclaim- 
ing in a penitential tone, " Alas ! thou seest that 
the flesh has prevailed over the spirit." 

I now do as he did; and, after a display of 
pardonable feeling, come back to my former opinion. 

F. It is too late now. As you yourself admit, 
you have betrayed your real mind on the matter. I 


have now a hold upon yon, and yon mnst come off 
to the pnblishers'. I may even tell yon that the 
secret of yonr book has not been kept by all who 
knew it. 

A. Don't be too rash, my dear boy, for I shall 
have something to say abont yourself; and who 
knows what that may be? 

jpl What could yon say on that topic? Ton 
needn't think yon can frighten mo- 
il, I shall not tell how our common * native-place 
boasts of having given you birth ; nor how, at 
twenty-four, you published a work which has since 
held a place in the foremost rank; nor how, by a 
well-deserved reputation, you now command the 
confidence of all ; how your patients take courage 
from your manner, admire your skill, and are con- 
soled by your sympathy. I shall not tell what 
everybody knows, but I shall discover to all Paris 
{rising up), to all France {throwing his head haek)y 
to the whole world, the only fault in you which I 
know of! 
F. {seriously). Which fault, if you please ? 

* * BeUey, the chief town of Bugey, a lovely country, with 
mountains and hillocks, rivers and limpid brooks, waterfalls and 
deep pools ; a regular jardin anglais of a hundred square leagues 
in size. In this country, before the Revolution, the constitution of 
society was such that the third estate was really the goveming 


A. An habitual fault, which all my exhortations 
have flailed to correct. 

F. {alarmed). Name it at once. It is too bad to 
torture one so. 

A. You eat too fast ! 

[On this, the friend takes his hat and leayes the room 
smiling, with a strong suspicion that he has made a 
convert uid gained his purpose.] 


Fob the publication of tlio work now entrusted to 
the reader*s good will, there was needed on my part 
no great labour. All I have done was to arrange a 
collection of materials made long ago. It was a 
pastime which I had been keeping in store for my 
old age. 

Whilst considering the pleasures of the table 
from every point of view, I soon saw that there was 
something better to be made of the subject than a 
mere cookery-book, and that there was much to be 
said upon functions which are not only vital and 
constant, but exercise a very direct influence upon 
our health, our happiness, and even our success in 

As soon as this leading idea was clearly fixed in 
nry mind, all the rest flowed easily from it. I looked 
about me — I took notes ; and often in the midst of 


the most snmptuous banquets I should have felt 
bored but for my amusement as an observer. 

To complete the task which I had taken on my- 
self, one must have been physician, chemist, physio- 
logist, and even somewhat of a scholar. Those 
different subjects, however, I had studied without 
the slightest intention of becoming an author, being 
urged on by a praiseworthy curiosity, by the fear of 
being left behind the age, and by the wish to be 
able to converse on equal terms with men of science 
and learning, in whose company I have always taken 
a special pleasure.* 

More particularly, I am an amateur doctor. It is 
quite a passion with me ; and amongst the finest 
days of my life I reckon that on which I entered 
with the professors, and by their door, into the 
lecture-room where the prize essay was to be read, 
and had the pleasure of hearing a murmur of 
curiosity run through the audience, each student 
asking his neighbour what mighty professor the 
stranger might be who was honouring the assembly 
by his presence. 

/ # < « Come and dine mth me next Thursday," said M. GrefTuble 
to me one day, '* and I'll have a party of men of science or men of 
letters ; which do you choose ?" 

' " My choice is made," said I, " we shall dine together twice 
instead of once." 

*• We did so, sure enough ; and the literary dinner was unmis- 
takably more refined and well-ordered.' 


There is, however, one other day the memory of 
which is equally dear; that, namely, on which I 
presented to the Council of the "Society for the 
Encouragement of National Industry" my "irrorator," 
an instrument of my invention, which is simply a 
compression-fountain, adapted for the purpose of 
perfuming rooms. 

I had brought, in my pocket, my machine fully 
charged. I turned the cock, and there escaped, 
with a hissing sound, a perfumed vapour, which, 
rising to the ceiling, fell in tiny drops upon the 
persons and papers beneath. It was then that, with 
inexpressible delight, I saw the most learned heads 
of the capital bend under my " irroration," and I was 
in ecstacies on observing that the wettest were the 

Occasionally, in thinking of the weighty lucubra- 
tions to which the extent of my subject has drawn 
me, I have had an honest fear lest I might bore the 
reader ; for I myself have sometimes yawned over 
other people's books. 

I have done everything in my power to avoid 
blame on this score. I have touched but lightly on 
the subjects likely to be dull ; I have scattered 
anecdotes over the book — some drawn from my per- 
sonal experience ; I have thrown aside a great many 
singular facts, from a regard to sound criticism. I 


have aroused attention by giving a clear and simple 
account of certain scientific truths which the learned 
seemed to have reserved for themselves. If, in spite 
of so many efforts, my readers should still find the 
science diflScult of digestion, my peace of mind will 
not be in the slightest degree disturbed, because 
I am sure that the majority will acquit me as to 

I might also be charged with letting^ my pen run 
on too fast, and becoming somewhat garrulous in 
my stories. Is it my fault that I am an old man ? 
Is it my fault that I am like Ulysses, who had seen 
the manners and cities of many peoples ? Am I to 
blame for giving a little of my biography? In a 
word, the reader ought to give .me credit for making 
him a present of my " Memoirs as a Public Man," 
which deserve to be read quite as much as so 
many others, since for thirty-six years I have had 
the best opportunity of watching society and the 
course of events. 

Above all things, let no one rank me amongst the 
compilers. Before being reduced to such straits, my 
pen would have been thrown aside, and I should 
have lived quite as happily. 

Like Juvenal, I have said : 

Bemper ego auditor tantuzn ! nnnquaxu no reponam! 

and those able to judge will easily see that, after 


being familiar both with the turmoil of city life and 
the silence of the study, the best thing I could do 
was to make the most of both positions. 

After all, there is much of the book which has 
been written for my own gratification. I have men- 
tioned some of my friends who scarcely expected 
such a thing; I have recalled several pleasant 
recollections, and noted down much that would 
otherwise have been forgotten. In a word, I have 
given full vent to my humour. 

Amongst those readers who are fond of lengthen- 
ing out a story, there will probably be one to exclaim, 

** I should like much to know if ^," or " What 

does he mean by saying that ,*' and so forth. 

But the rest, I am confident, will tell him to hold 
his tongue ; and every such expression of natural 
feeling will be kindly received by an immense 
majority of my readers. 

I have still something to say about my style, for, 
to quote Buffon, " As the style is, so is the man." 
And let no one think I am about to ask a favour, 
never granted to those who need it : I only mean to 
make a simple explanation. 

I ought to write admirably, for my favourite 
authors have been Voltaire, Jean-Jacques, Fenelon, 
Bujffbn, and, more recently. Cochin and Aguesseau, 
and I know them by heart. The gods, however, 


may have ordained otherwise ; and if so^ the follow- 
ing reasons explain that will of the gods. 

Knowing five living languages well, or tolerably, 
I possess a huge repertory of words of all com- 
plexions ; and whenever an expression is needed, if 
I don't find it in the French pigeon-hole, I take it 
out of one of the others. Hence the necessity for 
my reader of either translating or guessing; the 
Fates leave him no alternative. 

I am firmly persuaded that the French vocabu- 
lary is comparatively poor. What, then, was left 
for me to do ? To borrow or steal. I have done 
both; because such loans need not be paid back, 
and stealing words is not punishable by law.* 

I fully expect that the stern critics will loudly 
appeal to Bossuet, Fen^lon, Eacine, Boileau, Pascal 
and others of our masters in style. I fancy I al- 
ready hear their frightful din, and therefore give 
them my reply, calmly, that I am far from denying 
the merit of those authors, whether named or re- 
ferred to ; but, what then ? The only inference is, 
that having done good work with indifferent tools, 

* Some of the words borrowed or stolen by Savarin are tiroter 
(to match our word "to sip," he says), truffivore, dindinophiUy obesi- 
gdne, sHndigerer, voyage polymatique, and others — aU due to his 
love of the graphic and picturesque. Similarly, he sometimes 
Gallicizes a foreign phrase ; as, mauvaiU eot^de einquante an», from 
the English « wrong side fifty.'* 


they would have done incomparably better with 
good tools. In the same way eyerybody believes 
that Tartini would have played the Tiolin still 
better had his bow been as long as that of Baillot. 

I must be classed, then, with the writers who 
employ new words, if not even with those who 
throw off all allegiance to classical style and 
models.* The latter discover hidden treasures, 
while the others are like sailors, who bring from 
afar the provisions which we need. 

The Northern races, especially the English, have 
in this respect an immense advantage over us. 
The genius of their language is never hampered by 
rules of style ; it creates or borrows. Accordingly, 

* The term, un romantiiuCy occordiDg to the French philo- 
logists, was introduced by Madame de Staiil, aU modern writers 
being by her divided into two classes i—lei daasiquesj who follow 
the models already established, and les romantiqueSf who act 
independently of classical style and standards. Thus, in recent 
times, Victor Hngo is pre-eminently un romantique — not only 
ignoring the dramatic unities and other canons sacred to Gorneille 
and Voltaire, but actually and enthusiastically admiring such a 
barbarian as Shakespeare. 

The same terms have also been used in classifying the great 
masters in French gastronomy ; Beauvilliers, for example (after- 
wards referred to fully in the chapter on restaurants), being 
ranked at the head of the classical school. This implied analogy 
between cookery and literature may remind the philosophical 
reader of a passage in one of Dugald Stewart's '* Essays," where 
the effects of *^ sweet " and ^' bitter " in gastronomic art are said to 
** correspond to that composite beauty which it is the object of the 
painter and of the poet to create." 


in all subjects treated with depth and energy, our 
translations are mere copies, without colour and 

I remember once hearing, at the Institute, a well- 
written discourse to show the danger of using new 
words, and the necessity of holding fast by the 
language fixed for us by the writers of the classical 
age. As a chemist, I tested this philosopher's stone 
by my retort, with the following result : " We have 
done so well, that it is impossible to do better, or to 
do otherwise." 

Now, I have lived long enough to know that each 
generation says the same thing, and is laughed at 
for its pains by the generation following. Besides, 
why should' words not change, when manners and 
opinions are constantly undergoing modifications? 
Even if we do the same things as the ancients did, 
we do them in a different manner; and in some 
modem books there are whole pages which could 
be translated into neither Latin nor Greek. 

All the languages have their birth, their culmina- 
tion, and their decline ; and of those that have shone 
since the time of Sesostris to that of Philip Augus- 
tus, not one exists as a living tongue. The French 
language will have the same fate ; and in the year 
2825, 1 shall be read only with the assistance of a 
dictionary, if indeed I be read at alL 


I conclude the preface by a remark which, on 
account of its importance, I have been reserving. 
When I say "I'* or "me" it shows I am talking 
familiarly, and the reader is at liberty to examine,, 
dispute, doubt, or even laugh ; but when I arm my- 
self with the terrible " we," it is to speak authorita- 
tively, ex cathedra^ and the reader has no choice but 

** I am Sir Oracle, 
And when I ope my lips let no dog bark.** 





But for life the universe were nothing, and all that 
has life requires nourishment. 


Animals feed, man eats ; the man of sense and cul- 
ture alone understands eating. 


The fate of nations depends upon how they are fed. 


Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you 




In compelling man to eat that he may live, Nature 
gives appetite to invite him, and pleasure to reward 


Grood living is dne to that action of the judgment by 
which the things which please our taste are preferred 
to all others. 


The pleasures of the table are common to all ages 
and ranks, to all countries and times ; they not only 
harmonize with all the other pleasures, but remain to 
console us for their loss. 


It is only at table that a man never feels bored 
during the first hour. 


The discovery of a new dish does more for the happi- 
ness of the human race than the discovery of a planet. 


A drunkard knows not how to drink, and he who eats 
too much, or too quickly, knows not how to eat. 



In eating, tlie order is from the more substantial to 
the lighter. 


In drinking, the order is from the milder to that 
which is stronger and of finer fiavonr. 


To maintain that a man must not change his wine is 
a heresy : the palate becomes cloyed, and, after three or 
four glasses, it is but a deadened sensation that oven the 
best wine provokes. 


A last course at dinuer, wanting cheese, is like a 
pretty woman with only one eye. 


Cookery is an art, but to roaist requires genius. 


In. a oook, the most essential quality is pimctuality ; 
it should be also that of the guest. 


It is a breach of politeness towards those guests who 
are punctual when they are kept long waiting for one 
who is late. 



He who receives friends without himself "bestowing 
some pains upon the repast prepared for them, does 
not deserve to have friends. 


\ As the coffee after dinner is the special care of the 
lady of the house, so the host must see that the liqueurs 
are the choicest possible. 


To receive any one as our guest is to become respon- 
sible for his happiness during the whole of the time he 
is under our roof. 




The senses are the organs by which man and the 
outer world are brought into communication. 
, The number of the senses is at least fire.* 
Sight embraces space, and through the j^ , 
medium of light informs us of the exist- and 

11 t» 1. 11* definition. 

ence and colours oi surrounding bodies. 
The sense of hearing receives, through the medium 
of the air, the vibrations of noisy or sonorous bodies. 
By the sense of smell we perceive that property of 
substances which is called their odour. By the 

* The nnmber of the senses has been frequently discussed by 
psychologists. Thus, Littre, one of Comte's principal followers, 
and no mean authority, says that " sixth sense " is a term applied, 
*^aux sensations de V amour phijsique,^* Kant, also, speaks of a 
seTistis va>gti8f as something not localized, or without special organs ; 
which would increase the number to seven. 


sense of taste we appreciate whatever is sapid or 
eatable. The sense of touch informs us about the 
surfaces of bodies and their consistence. The 
genetic, or generative, sense has for its object the 
reproduction of the species. 

It is astonishing that the last of these should 
not have been recognized before the time of Buflfon ; 
being either confounded with the sense of touch, 
or regarded as a mere adjunct or modification of 
it. But, as for the preservation of the individual 
there is one sense — taste, so the other is as cer- 
tainly a sense appropriated to the preservation of 
the species. 

If in imagination we travel back to the earliest 
The period of human existence, we shall infer 

senses in that at first man's sensations were simply 
direct, being uncorrected by reflection; 
that is to say, that he saw without precision, heard 
confusedly, smelt without discernment, ate without 
appreciation, and, in his enjoyments generally, 
lived as a mere animal. 

But, all our perceptions having as their common 
centre the soul — the special attribute of the human 
race, and ever tending to greater perfection — ^they 
are there subjected to reflection, comparison, judg- 
ment; and soon, the various sensations are all 
summoned to each other's aid for the use and well- 


being of the "percipient Ego," or person whose 
senses are acted upon. 

Thus, touch corrected the errors of sight; the 
hearing, by means of the spoken word, became the 
interpreter of what man thought ; taste was assisted 
by sight and smell ; and hearing compared sounds 
and measured distances. 

The stream of time, rolling over successive 
generations of men, has incessantly brought new 
improvements; and this tendency to perfection, so 
real though unobserved, is due to the action of the 
senses, and their constant demand for healthy 

Thus, sight has given birth to painting, sculpture, 
and every kind of show or pageant; hearing, to 
melody, harmony, dancing, and all that is connected 
with music ; smell, to the search anji observation of 
perfumes, their use and culture ; the sense of taste, 
to the production, selection, and preparation of 
every kind of food ; the sense of touch, to all the 
arts, all the skilful trades, and all the industries ; 
the genetic sense, to romantic love, flirtation, and 
fashion, to all that adorns the relations between 
man and woman or aesthetically improves their 

Such, then, are the origin and growth of the 
arts and sciences, even the most abstract ; they are 


produced directly by the natural demand of the 
senses to be kept in constant play and exercise. 
Those senses, so dear to us, are, nevertheless, far 
from being perfect, and I need not stay to 
senses be- piove it. I shall Only note how sight, that 
come more gense SO ethereal, and touch, which is 


at the other end of the scale, have with 
time both gained additional powers in a wonderful 
degree. Thus, the weakness of old age, which 
affects most of the senses, is, in the case of sight, 
almost entirely remedied by the use of glasses. 
The telescope has discovered stars formerly un- 
known, because inaccessible to unaided vision ; and 
the microscope has led man to see, for the first 
time, the composition and constitution of sub- 
stances, showing us plants and a mode of growth 
whose very existence were previously unsuspected. 
Some animalcules are shown which are the one- 
hundred-thousandth part of the smallest creature 
visible to the naked eye; yet they move about, 
feed, and reproduce, proving that there are organs 
so minute that the imagination can form no con- 
ception of them. 

• Again, the mechanical powers and appliances 
have multiplied. Man has realized even the boldest 
conceptions, and performed tasks of engineering 
which to his merely natural powers were utterly 


unapproachable. By skill and mechanism, man has 
subdued all nature, making it subservient to all his 
wants, his pleasures, and his caprices, and changing 
the whole surface of the globe. Thus a feeble 
biped is become king of all creation. 

Senses of sight and touch of such enlarged 

powers might rank among the attributes of a race 

much superior to man; or rather, were all our 

' senses improved in like proportion, mankind would 

be quite a different species. 

It should be noted, however, that although the 
sense of touch has developed enormously as a 
muscular power, yet, as a sensitive organ, scarcely 
anything has been done for it by advancing civiliza- 
tion. But we must not despair, remembering that 
the human race is still young, and that it is only 
after a long series of ages that the senses can 
enlarge their sphere of action. Thus, it is only 
about four centuries since men discovered harmony, 
a science all divine, bearing to sounds the same 
relation as painting does to colours.* No doubt the 
ancients sung airs and melodies with musical 
accompaniments, but their knowledge went no 

* * If the ancients understood harmony, their writings would 
have preserved some more certain proof than a few vague phrases. 
It is to the Arabs we are indebted for it, since they first gave us 
the organ, which, by sounding several notes at once, suggested the 
idea of concords and harmonies/ 


further ; they could neither analyse the notes nor 
find their relations to each other. 

It was not till the fifteenth century that the laws 
of tone, and rules for the movement of concords 
were ascertained. Then, accordingly, musicians 
first made use of theory to sustain the parts and 
improve the expression. That discovery, so late 
and yet so natural, showed the duality of the sense 
of hearing ; that in one organ there are two facul- 
ties, to some extent independent of each other — ^the 
one perceiving the sound of the notes, the other 
estimating their resonance or length. Some German 
doctors say that the perception of harmony consti- 
tutes an additional sense. 

As to those for whom music is only a confused 
mass of sounds, it should be observed that they 
nearly all sing out of time ; and they must have 
either the ears so formed as to receive only short, 
abrupt vibrations, or one ear attuned to a different 
key from the other, and therefore jointly transmit- 
ting to the brain only a vague and ill-defined sensa- 
tion — just as two instruments which agree neither 
in time nor tune are incapable of together sounding 

During these last ages, the sense of taste has also 
largely extended its sphere of influence ; and by the 
discovery of sugar and its various preparations, of 


alcoholic liquors, of ices, vanilla, tea, and coffee, we 
have a knowledge of tastes and flavours which were 
previously unknown. 

Who can say that the sense of touch will not 
have its turn, and that some happy chance may riot 
in this quarter also disclose to us a source of new 
modes of enjoyment? What makes it the more 
probable is, that the tactile sensibility is confined 
to no special part, and can therefore be acted upon 
throughout the whole body. 

In one respect, taste resembles the genetic 
sense. As two main factors in man's g^^gg^f 
nature, their influence is seen throughout taste; its 
all the fine arts, and almost everywhere 
where delicacy and refinement come into play. The 
faculty of taste is, however, more under restraint, 
although quite as active, and has advanced so 
gradually, yet steadily, as to make certain that its 
success is lasting. 

Elsewhere, we shall consider that advancement ; 
but, meantime, we may observe that if any man has 
sat at a sumptuous dinner in a hall adorned with 
mirrors, paintings, sculptures, flowers, scented with 
perfumes, enriched with beautiful women, and filled 
with notes of gentle music, he will feel convinced, 
without any great mental effort, that, to enhance 
the pleasures of the sense of taste and give them 


their proper surroundings, all the arts have been 
laid under contribution. 
Let us now c&st a general glance over the senses, 
considered as one system, and we shall 
attained SCO that they are intended by the Creator 
by the fQp ^^q ends, one the consequence of the 


other ; to wit, the preservation of the in. 
dividual and the continuation of the species. 

Such is the destiny of man, considered as a being 
endowed with senses : everything he does has some 
reference to that twofold object of nature. The eye 
perceives outward objects, discovers the wonders 
with which man is surrounded, and teaches him 
that he is a part of a mighty whole. By hearing, 
we perceive not only those sounds which are 
agreeable to the sense, but others which warn us 
of danger! Touch is on the watch to inform us at 
once, by means of pain, of every hurt. The hand, 
like a faithful servant, never uncertain in his move- 
ments, instinctively chooses what is necessary to 
repair the losses caused by the maintenance of the 
vital functions/ Smell is used as a test of whole- 
someness, since poisonous bodies have almost in- 
variably an unpleasant odour. Then the sense of 
taste is called into exercise, and the teeth, tongue, 
and palate being put to use, the stomach presently 
begins the great work of assimilation. During that 


process, a vague languor is felt, objects are seen less 
vividly, the body takes an easy position, the eyes 
close, every sensatipn vanishes, and the senses are 
in a state of absolute repose. 

Such are the general and philosophical views 
which I have thought right to lay before my 
readers, to prepare them for the more special ex- 
amination of the organ of the sense of taste. 



Taste is thatt sense which, by means of a special 
organ, brings man into contact with sapid 
substances. After being stimulated by the of this 
appetite, hunger and thirst, this sensation, ^^^ * 
when combined with several subordinate operations, 
results in the growth, development, and preser- 
vation of the individual, at the same time making 
good the losses due to the vital functions. 

All organized bodies are not nourished in the 
same manner; for Nature, being as varied in 
methods as she is certain of results, has assigned 
to them diflferent modes of prolonging existence. 
Thus, vegetables, at the bottom of the scale of 


living beings, are fed by means of roots, which, 
sinking into the native soil, select, by a special 
apparatus, the different substances suited for the 
purposes of growth and preservation. 

Eising higher, we discover bodies endowed with 
animal life, but without the power of locomotion. 
Bom with favourable surroundings, they are pro- 
vided with the special organs necessary to maintain 
that mode of existence. Instead of seeking for 
their food, the food comes to find them. 

For animals who move from place to place, 
Nature has appointed quite a different means of 
preservation, and especially for man, who is incon- 
testably the most perfect. A special instinct tells 
him when he requires to be fed ; he looks for and 
seizes whatever seems likely to appease his wants ; 
he eats, and becoming restored, thus runs through 
the destined career of life. 

Taste can be considered under three aspects : in 
man, physically, as the mechanism by which he 
appreciates the sapid quality or flavour of substances ; 
in man, morally, as the mental perception due to 
the sensation or impression made on the organ ; and 
lastly, in the external body, or objectively, as the 
material property to which we ascribe the sensation 
or impression made on the organ. 

This sense seems to have two principal uses. First, 


it invites us, by the pleasure, to repair the losses 
which we constantly suffer from the action of life. 
Secondly, amongst the different substances pre- 
sented to us by nature, taste assists us to choose 
those which are fit to serve for food. 

In making this choice, we are greatly assisted by 
the sense of smell, as we shall see further on ; for, 
as a general rule, nutritive substances are repulsive 
neither to the sense of taste, nor that of smell. 

It is not easy to determine precisely what 
parts constitute the organ of taste. It is Mechan- 
more complicated than at first sight ap- ism of the 



The tongue, of course, plays an important part in 
the action of tasting, since it is by it that the food 
is moistened, turned about, and swallowed. More- 
over, by means of the papillae scattered over its sur- 
face, it drinks in the sapid and soluble particles of 
those bodies with which it comes in contact. 

That, however, being insuflScient, several adjacent 
parts assist in completing this sensation : to wit, 
the palate, the sides of the mouth, and especially 
the nasal passage— a part to which physiologists 
have not directed sufiicient attention. From the 
sides of the mouth is supplied the saliva, necessary 
for mastication and deglutition ; and they, as well 
as the palate, assist in the appreciative faculty of 


taste. It is probable that^ in certain cases, the gums 
have a slight share in the tasting sensation ; and 
without a certain appreciation of flavour at the root 
of the tongue, the sensation of taste would be 
deadened and imperfect. 

Those who are bom without a tongue, or have had 
it cut out, still retain the sense of taste. Of the 
former case, there are instances in the books written 
on such matters; and the latter was explained to 
me by a poor fellow whose tongue had been cut out 
by the Algerians, because, with some of his com- 
panions in captivity, he had formed a plan for 
escaping and running away. This man, whom I had 
met in Amsterdam, where he gained a living by 
running errands, had had some education, and it was 
easy to converse with him by means of writing. 
After noticing that all the fore part of his tongue 
was removed down to the ligament, I asked if, after 
undergoing so cruel an operation, there still re- 
mained a flavour in what he ate, or any sensa- 
tion of taste. He replied that what he found 
most diflScult was to swallow; that his sense of 
taste remained pretty well the same, and that he 
could tell, like other men, what had little taste and 
what was pleasant, but that strong acids, or anything 
very bitter, caused him intolerable pain. 

I also learned from him, that in some African 


kingdoms it was a common thing to cut out the 
tongue, especially as a punishment for the ring- 
leaders of conspiracies. He said, also, that there 
were special instruments for the purpose, which I 
wished him to describe; but the repugnance he 
showed was so painful that I did not press him. 

Reflecting on what he told me, and going back to 
those dark ages when the tongues of blasphemers 
were pierced or cut out, I became convinced that 
such a custom of law must have been of African 
origin, imported to Europe by the Crusaders. 

We have seen above that the sensation of taste 
resides principally in the papillae of the tongue. 
But by anatomy we learn that these are so unequally 
supplied, that one tongue may have thrice as many 
as another. Hence one explanation why, of two 
guests seated at the same banquet, one has delicious 
sensations, whilst the other seems to eat only be- 
cause compelled ; the reason being that the latter 
has a tongue only poorly furnished for enjoyment. 
Thus the empire of taste also has its blind men 
and its deaf. 

There have been broached five or six opinions 
as to the operation of the sensation of taste, sensation 
I have also mine, and it is as follows: of taste, 
the sensation of taste is a chemical result obtained, 
as we have already said, through moisture ; that is 


to say, the sapid molecules must be dissolved in 
some i&uid, that they may be absorbed by the 
minute tufts of nerves, papillae or suckers, which 
cover the surfaces of the organ. 

Whether new or not, this theory rests upon 
physical facts which are almost seK-evident. Pure 
water causes no sensation of taste, because it con- 
tains no sapid particles : dissolve in it a grain of 
salt or a few drops of vinegar, the sensation imme- 
diately takes place. Other drinks, again, affect the 
sense because they are nothing but solutions more , 
or less charged with molecules that can be tasted. 
Then, by an insoluble body, even if the mouth were 
filled with its particles minutely divided, the sense 
of touch alone would be affected, and that of taste 
not at all. 

As to solid bodies which have taste, they must be 
comminuted by the teeth, impregnated with the 
saliva and other gustatory juices, and pressed 
against the palate by the tongue till the juice so 
yielded makes a favourable impression upon the gus- 
tatory papillae, and the triturated body receives from 
them the passport necessary to enter the stomach. 

My theory, which is to be still further developed, 
gives an easy explanation of the principal difiB- 
culties. Thus, if you ask what is meant by a sapid 
body, I reply : It is one which is soluble and fit to 


be absorbed by the organ of taste. If it is asked 
bow a sapid body acts, the answer is : It acts when- 
ever it is so dissolved that it can enter those cavities 
whose function is to receive and transmit the sensa- 
tion of taste. In a word, nothing is sapid unless 
already dissolved or easily soluble. 

The number of tastes perceived in objects is infi- 
nite, since every soluble body has a special flavours 
flavour, in some respect differing from or tastes. 
all others. 

Flavours receive additional modifications of 
infinite variety, ranging from the most attractive to 
the most intolerable, from the strawberry to the 
colocynth; and all attempts to classify them may 
be termed failures. Nor is this to be wondered at ; 
for, granted that there are undetermined series of 
simple flavours which can be modified by combining 
them in any number and quantity, we should require 
a new language to express all these results, mountains 
of folio volumes to define them, and newly devised 
numerical characters to classify and number them. 

Since, up to the present time, no taste or flavour 
has, as a sensation, been rigorously defined, men are 
compelled to keep to a small number of general 
terms, such as ** sweet," " sugary," " sour," " bitter," 
and so on; and, on further analysis^ these can be 
classified under the two heads of " agreeable to the 


taste," or "disagreeable." They suffice, however, 
to make one's self understood, and indicate with 
tolerable exactness the gustatory properties of any 
sapid substances about which one is talking. Those 
who come after us will know more about such 
qualities, and it seems already certain that 
chemistry will discover to them the causes of 
flavours or their ultimate elements. 

Following my prescribed plan, I must now render 
to the sens^ of smell its proper rights, 
affected and acknowledge the important services 
ysme . -^ yields in the perception of tastes or 
flavours ; for, of all the writers that have come 
under my notice, none appear to have done it full 
and entire justice. 

For my own part, I am not only convinced that 
there is no complete perception of taste unless the 
sense of smell have a share in the sensation, but I 
am further tempted to believe that smell and taste 
form only one sense, having the mouth as laboratory 
with the nose for fire-place or chimney. More 
exactly, the one serves to taste solids, and the other 

This theory can be supported by strict reasoning; 
but as I have no intention of founding a sect, I 
merely launch it forth to make my readers reflect, 
and to show that I have looked closely into the 


subject of my work. At present, I proceed to prove 
the importance of the sense of smell, if not as an 
integral part of that of taste, at least as a necessary 

Every sapid body is necessarily odorous, whicji 
gives it a place under the sway of one sense exactly 
as under that of the other. Nothing is eaten with- 
out being smelt more or less attentively ; and when 
any unknown food is presented, the nose always acts 
as sentinel of the advance guard, and calls out, 
" Who goes there ? " . 

To intercept the smell is to paralyse the taste. 
This I prove by three experiments, which every- 
body can verify : first, when the mucous membrane 
of the nostrils is irritated by a severe cold in 
the head all sense of taste is obliterated, aijd no 
flavour is perceived in anything that is swallowed, 
though the tongue retains its normal condition ; 
secandy if you hold your nose when eating, you will 


be surprised to find that the sensation of taste is 

extremely dull and imperfect : hence a means of 

getting down the most nauseous medicines almost 

without perceiving' it; thirdy the same result is 

observed if the tongue is kept close to the palate 

at the moment of swallowing, instead of letting it 

resume its natural position; for the circulation of 

air being thus stopped, the sense of smell is not 



brought into .play, and that of taste is therefore 

These different results are due to the same cause 
— the absence of smell as a fellow-worker ; for thus 
the sapid body is sensible only by its juices, and 
not by the odorous gas which it exhales. 

These principles being thus established, I con- 
. , . sider it is demonstrable that taste gives 

Analysis o 

of the rise to sensations of three different orders : 
the direct, the complete, and the reflective. 

The direct sensation is the first perception, arising 
from the immediate operation of the organs of taste 
whilst the food is still on the point of the tongue. 
The complete, is when the first perception is 
combined with the sensation caused by the food 
reaching the back of the mouth, and by taste and 
smell acting upon the whole organ. The reflective 
sensation is the judgment passed by the mind upon 
the impressions conveyed to it by the organ. 

For an application of this theory, let us consider 
what takes place during eating and drinking. He 
who eats a peach, for example, is first agreeably 
struck by the odour which it yields ; he puts it in 
his mouth, and experiences a sensation of freshness 
and acidity which induces him to continue ; but it is 
only at the moment of swallowing, and when the 
flavour also reaches the olfactories, that the per- 


fhme is revealed which completes the full taste due 
to a peach. Finally, it is only when the fruit is 
swallowed that he forms an opinion of the sensa- 
tions, and says to himself, "That is a delicious 
morsel ! " 

In the same way, in drinking wine there is a 
pleasant but still imperfect sensation so long as it 
is in the mouth : it is only when swallowed that we 
can really taste and appreciate the special flavour 
and bouquet of each variety, and a little time 
must elapse before the connoisseur can say, " It is 
good," "middling," or "bad;" "By Jov§! 'tis 
genuine Chambertin I " or " Confound it 1 it is only 
Surene ! " 

In conformity with these principles, and result- 
ing from a well-understood experience, is that habit 
which all true connoisseurs have of sipping their 
wine ; for each time they swallow they have the sum 
total of the sensation enjoyed hsA they taken the 
whole glass at one draught. 

The same thing takes place, but more ener- 
getically, when the taste is unpleasant. Look at 
that patient, who is ordered by the faculty to take a 
black draught, such as our grandfathers drank. 
That trusty adviser, the sense of smell, warns him 
against the repulsive flavour of the treacherous 
fluid ; his eyes stare as at the approach of danger ; 



disgust is on his lips; and already his stomach 
rises. Nevertheless, on being urged, he arms him- 
self with determination, gargles his throat with 
brandy, holds his nose, and drinks. 

Whilst the detestable beverage is in the mouth 
and in contact with the organ, the sensation is con- 
fused and the suspense intolerable ; but as soon as 
the last drop is swallowed, the after-taste is felt, 
sickening flavours act, and the patient's countenance, 
in every feature, expresses a horror and disgust such 
as no one dar^ encounter unless under the fear of 

With an insipid drink, on the contrary, there is 
neither taste nor after-taste ; no sensation is felt or 
reflection made : we merely drink. 

The sense of taste is not so richly endowed as that of 

Succession ^®^^^^g- ^^® latter observes and compares 
oftheim- several sounds at the same time, whereas 

pressions. .10 x • • • i» 

the former cannot receive impressions from 
two flavours together. It may, however, have a 
second, or even a third, sensation successively, in the 
same way as a key-note in music is followed by 
others in concord, easily distinguished by the 
practised ear. The succeeding and weakened sensa- 
tion is termed an ** after-taste," " bouquet," etc. 

These secondary sensations are not perceived by 
those who eat hastily and carelessly, being the 


exclusive appanage of a small number, the elect of 

e gastronomes, who thus are able to classify, in 
\ of excellence, the different substances sub- 
^to their femmination. 

***^ov. fugitive shades of sensation thrill the organ 
of taste for some time ; and, without being aware of 
it, your real gastronome assumes the proper posture, 
always pronouncing his verdict with lengthened 
neck and a twist of the nose. 

Let us now cast a philosophic glance on the 
pleasures or annoyances caused by the sense of 

First of all, we find here an instance of that, 
unhappily, too general truth, that man's organiza- 
tion is more susceptible of pain than of pleasure. 
The introduction of anything extremely sour, acrid, 
or bitter, can excite sensations painful in the 
highest degree ; and it is even maintained that 
hydrocyanic acid only kills quickly because it causes 
an agony so keen that the vital forces cannot endure 
it without succumbing. 

Agreeable sensations, on the contrary, run 
through only a limited scale ; and if there 
is a difference perceptible enough between caused 
the insipid and the palatable, there is no ^y *^^ 


very great interval between what is good 

and that which is considered excellent. As an 

^ I 


illustration, take the following: positive, hard- 
boiled beef; comparative, a piece of veal; super- 
lative, a roast pheasant, done to a turn. 

Nevertheless, of all the senses in their natural 
state, taste procures us the greatest number of 

1. Because the pleasure of eating, taken in 
moderation, is the only one that is not followed by 
fatigue. 2. Because it is common to every time, 
age, and condition. 3. Because it must return 
once, at least, every day, and may, during that 
space of time, be easily repeated two or three times. 

4. Because it can combine with all our other 
pleasures, and even console us for their absence. 

5. Because its sensations are at once more last- 
ing than others, and more subject to our will; 
and 6. Because we have a certain special but 
indefinable satisfaction, arising from the instinc- 
tive knowledge that, by the very act of eating, we 
are making good our losses, and prolonging our 

This will be found more fully developed in a 
future chapter, where the ^ pleasures of the table " 
are treated from a modern point of view, especially 
as affected by the civilization of the nineteenth 

We have been brought up in the fond belief that. 


of all the animals that walk, swim, climb, or fly, 
man has the sense of taste the most „ 


perfect. Now, however, there are threats macyof 
that this faith will be shaken, for Doctor ™"^ 
Gall maintains, as the result of some investigations, 
I know not what, that there are animals which have 
the organs of taste more highly developed and 
more perfect than those of man. 

This doctrine of his sounds badly, and smacks of 
heresy. Man, by divine right king of all creation, 
and for whose benefit the earth was covered and 
peopled, must necessarily be provided with organs 
of taste which can adequately appreciate all that is 
sapid amongst his subjects. 

The tongue of animals is analogous to the reach 
of their intelligence. In fishes, it is only a movable 
bone ; in birds, it is generally a membranous car- 
tilage; in quadrupeds, besides being frequently 
covered with scales or asperities, it has no power of 
circumflex movemeut. 

The tongue of man, on the contrary, by the deli- 
cacy of its structure, and of the different membranes 
which surround or lie near it, gives suflScient indica- 
tion of the high functions for which it is destined. 
Moreover, I have discovered three movements in it 
unknown to animals; and I distinguish them by 
the terms " spication,"^ " rotation," and " verrition." 


The first occnis when the tongue is pressed in a 
conical shape between the lips ; the second, when it 
moves circularly in the space bounded by the 
cheeks and palate ; and the third, from the Latin 
verrOy I sweep, when it bends back, either above or 
below, to gather, anything which remains in the 
semi-circular space outside the gums. 

AnimalR are limited in their tastes : one living 
only on vegetables; a second eating nothing but 
flesh; a third feeding exclusively on grain; and 
none of them know compound flavours. Man, on 
the contrary, is omnivorous ; everything that is 
eatable is subject to his all-embracing appetite. 
Hence, as a necessary inference, his tasting powers 
must in extent and variety be proportionately great ; 
and, in fact, in man the mechanism of that particular 
organ is of a rare perfection. To be convinced of 
this, let us look at it in operation. 

As soon as anything esculent enters the mouth, it 
is irretrievably confiscated, with all its juices and 
gases. The lips prevent it from returning, the- 
teeth take hold of it and crush it, the saliva absorbs 
it, the tongue mixes it and turns it round, an aspira- 
tory compression forces it towards the gullet, the 
tongue rises to make it glide down — ^the sense of 
smell then taking note of it, and finally it falls into 
the stomach, to be there subjected to further changes 


of fonn. Yet, during all that operation, there is 
not a single portion, drop, or atom, that has escaped 
the testing and appreciating power of the organ. 

Another result of that organic perfection is that 
epicurism, or the art of Good Living, belongs to man 
exclusively. By a sort of contagion, however, it is 
transferred to those animals which are appropriated 
to man's use and, in a certain sense, become his 
companions ; such as the dog, the cat, the elephant 
and even the parrot. 

If some animals have the tongue larger, the 
palate more developed, anB. the gullet wider, it 
cannot be therefore inferred by any rules of sound 
logic that their sense of taste is more perfect ; the 
tongue is larger because it has to act as a muscle to 
move large weights, the palate to press, and the 
gullet to swallow, larger portions. Besides, since 
taste should be judged by the perceptions it gives 
rise to, as already explained, any impression re- 
ceived by animals cannot be compared with that 
experienced by man ; the latter is of greater clear- 
ness and precision, and must therefore be of greater 

In a word, is it possible to desire any improve- 
ment in a faculty so refined that among the ancient 
Bomans the epicures were wont, by taste alone, to 
tell if a fish had been caught above or below bridge ? 


Do we not see some of onr own time who, in eating 
a partridge, can tell by its flavour which leg it has 
slept upon ? And have we not amongst us connois- 
seurs who can tell under what latitude a wine has 
ripened, with as great a certainty as a disciple of 
Biot or Arago can predict an eclipse ? 

What, then, is the inference? That we must 
render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, by pro- 
claiming man the epicure of nature ; and that we 
must not wonder that, like Homer^ the worthy 
Doctor Gall sometimes nods : 

^-^ aHquando bonus dormitat Homems. 

Up to the present point we have been investigat- 
,- ., , iJttff the sense of taste only with reference 

Method ^^ ^ '^ 

of the to its physical constitution, and, unless in 
au or. giving some anatomical details which few 
readers will object to, have kept to the level of strict 
science. But the task imposed on us does not end 
here, since it is from its history in a moral point of 
view that this restoring sense derives its importance 
and its glory. We have therefore arranged in 
logical order the body of theories and facts of which 
that history is composed, with the view of being 
instructive without being tiresome. 

Thus, in the chapters about to follow, we shall 
show how, by dint of repetition and reflection the 


sensations of taste have perfected their organ, 
and extended the sphere of its powers; how the 
desire for food, at first a mere instinct, has 
become a prevailing passion which has a marked 
influence on all that relates to our social life. We 
shall trace the operations of chemistry up to the 
moment when, entering our laboratories under- 
ground, she throws light upon our food-preparation, 
lays down principles, devises methods, and unveils 
the causes of what formerly lay hid in mystery. 

In short, we shall see how, by the combined 
influence of time and experience, there has appeared 
all at once a new science, which nourishes, restores, 
and preserves man, advises and consoles him, and, 
not satisfied with strewing flowers along his path 
with an ample hand, also increases powerfully the 
might and prosperity of empires. 

If, in the midst of such weighty disquisitions, a 
pointed or humorous story, a pleasant recollection, 
or some adventure from a life of many ups and 
downs should be on the tip of the pen, we shall let 
it drop, in order to relieve for a moment the atten- 
tion of our readers. For their number does not alarm 
us : we are fond, on the contrary, of having a chat 
with them; being certain that, if they are men, 
they are as indulgent as they are weU-informed, and 
if ladies, that they cannot help being charming. 




Unlike Minerva, who issued from the brain of 
^ . . Jupiter in full armour, the sciences are 


of the the daughters of Time, being matured im- 
sciences. perceptibly ; at first, by an accumulation 
of methods which experience has pointed out, and 
afterwards by the discovery of the laws derived 
from the combination of those methods. 

Thus, the first old men who, on account of their 
discretion, were sent for to visit invalids, or whom 
pity urged to bind up wounds, were also the first 

The Egyptian shepherds, who observed that 
after a period of time certain stars were to be found 
in a certain part of the heavens, were the first 
astronomers. He who first expressed by symbols 
the simple proposition, "two and two make four," 
created mathematics, that science of such power 
that it has actually raised men to the throne of the 

During the course of the last sixty years, several 
new sciences have taken rank amongst the various 

ON GA8TB0N0MT, 29 

branches of knowledge; for example, stereotomy,* 
descriptive geometry, and the chemistry of gaseous 
bodies. All the sciences, being developed through 
countless generations, will improve more and more 
with the greater certainty that, by the art of print- 
ing, they are for ever freed from the danger of 
retrograding. Thus, to mention only one instance, 
who can tell if, by a chemical knowledge of gaseous 
bodies, man may not obtain the mastery over those 
elements, now so refractory, and, by mixing and 
combining them in ways and proportions hitherto 
unattempted, obtain substances and results which 
will greatly extend the limits of his powers ? 

Amongst the sciences, Gastronomy presented her- 
self in her turn, and all her sisters came ^ . . ^ 

Origin of 

near to show respect. What, indeed, could gastro- 
be refused to the science which sustains us ^^^^' 
from the cradle to the grave, which enhances the 
pleasure of love and the intimacy of friendship, 
which disarms hatred, makes business easier, and 
affords us, during the short voyage of our lives, the 
only enjoyments that both relieve us from all 
fatigue and themselves entail none ? 
There is no doubt that, so long as cookery was 

* In the older French mathematical books, the term " stereo- 
metry " corresponds to our solid geometry ; and thus " stereotomy " 
relates to the sections of soUds, including, of course, the conic 


trusted exclusively to hired servants, the mysteries 
of the craft confined to the lower regions, and 
nothing but books of directions written on the sub- 
ject, the results were those of a mere art. At last, 
however, though perhaps too late, men of science 
no longer kept aloof. They examined, analysed, 
and classified the alimentary substances, and re- 
duced them to their simpler constituents. They 
fathomed the mysteries of assimilation, and tracing 
inert matter through its changes of form, saw how 
it became endowed with life. They have studied 
food in its eflfects, whether momentary or perma- 
nent, for days, for months, or even for a whole life- 
time. They have estimated even its influence upon 
the faculty of thought, whether the soul receives 
impressions from the senses, or can perceive without 
the concurrence of those organs. Finally, as the 
result of all these labours, they have formed a grand 
generalization, embracing all mankind, and all 
matter that is capable of assimilation. 

Whilst the men of science were thus employed in 
the study, the man of fashion began to exclaim that 
the science by which we are kept in life must surely 
be worth more than that which teaches men to kill 
each other. Poets began to sing the pleasures of 
the table ; and books on good cheer displayed 
greater insight and more comprehensive truths. 


Such were the circumstances preceding the ad- 
vent of gastronomy. 

Gastronomy is the scientific knowledge of all 
that relates to man as an eater. Its aim jts defini- 
is, by means of the best possible food, to *^°^ 
watch over the preservation of mankind, and it 
attains that end by laying down certain principles 
to direct in the search, supply, or preparation of 
alimentary substances. 

Thus to it, as the efficient cause, we must ascribe 
the labours of farmers, vine-growers, fishermen, 
huntsmen, and especially of cooks of every degree, 
whatever be the title or qualification under which 
they may disguise their occupation of preparing food. 

Gastronomy is related to natural history, by its 
classification of alimentary substances ; to physics, 
by its investigation into their composition and 
properties ; to chemistry, by the different forms of 
analysis and decomposition which it makes them 
undergo ; to cookery, by the art of dressing dishes, 
and rendering them agreeable to the taste ; to com- 
merce and political economy, by seeking to buy and 
sell most advantageously, as well as by the returns 
which it brings into the public treasury, and the 
barter which it establishes between different nations. 

Gastronomy rules every moment of our lives: 
for the first cry of the new-bom child is a call for 


the nurse's breast, and the dying man swallows 
still with some pleasure the last potion, which, 
alas ! he will never digest. 

It has to do, also, with every class of society. It 
presides at the banquets of assembled kings, and 
also counts the minutes necessary for properly 
boiling an egg. ' 

The material subject which gastronomy treats of 
is everything that can be eaten; its immediate 
object is the preservation of the individual ; and the 
means by which it effects its purpose are cultiva- 
tion to produce, commerce to exchange, industry 
to prepare, and experience to discover how every- 
thing can be best turned to account. 

Grastronomy considers the sense of taste in its 

pleasures as well as in its pains; it has 

objects discovered the various degrees of its sus- 

of the ceptibility as a sensation, regulating their 

scienoe. ... 

action, and fixing limits which a man of 
self-respect must never overstep. 
• It also considers how food may influence the 
moral nature of man, his imagination, his mind, his 
reason, his courage and his perceptions, whether 
awake or asleep, whether in action or repose. 

It is gastronomy which determines precisely when 
each article of food is fit for use, for all are not 
presentable in the same circumstances. Some 



should be taken before being fully developed — as 
capers, asparagus, sucking-pigs, pigeons, and other 
animals eaten young; others, at the moment of 
perfect development — as melons, fruit in general, 
the sheep, the ox, and all animals eaten when full 
grown ; others again, even when decomposition has 
set in — as medlars, woodcocks, and, above all, the 
pheasant ; others again, after some hurtful quality 
has, by the cook's art, been removed — as the potato, 
tapioca, and so forth. 

It is gastronomy, moreover, that by classifying 
those substances according to their various quali- 
ties, shows which should go together ; and from a 
comparison of their properties sis esculents, dis- 
tinguishes those which should form the basis of a 
repast from mere accessories, as well as from others 
which, though by no means indispensable, yet fill 
up the time agreeably, smd assist the after-dinner 

With regard to what we drink at table, 
gastronomy is equally interested, classifying ac- 
cording to age, country, and climate. It teaches 
how the wines are prepared and kept, but especially 
how to put them on the table in such an order as to* 
produce for the guests an enjoyment constantly 
increasing up to the point where pleasure ends and 
abuse begins. 




Another duty of gastronomy is to pass men and 
things under review, with the view of conveying 
from country to country all that deserves being 
known. Thus a skilfully arranged banquet shows 
you the world in miniature, every part having some 

Some knowledge of gastronomy is needed by all 
Advan- men, since it tends to increase the allotted 
the know- sum of human happiness ; and the more 

ledge of QQ^j Q^ man's circumstances, the more ad- 
nomy, vantages does he gain from such know- 
ledge; so much so, that it is indispensable to all 
who have a large income and receive much com- 
pany — whether they do so to play a part, to please 
themselves, or to be in the fashion. There is this 
special advantage, that they must personally have 
some share in the arrangements of the table, and 
in superintending or giving directions to those 
entrusted with the management and preparation. 

The Prince of Soubise, wishing one day to 
celebrate a fete, which was to finish oflf with a 
supper, gave orders that the bill of fare should bo 
shown him beforehand. Next morning, at his levee, 
the steward made his appearance with the docu- 
ment handsomely ornamented, and the first item 
which caught the eye of the Prince was, "fifty 
hams." '^HullOy Bertrandl" said he; "you must be 


out of your senses! Fifty hams! do you intend 
feasting all my soldiers ? " " No, your highness ; 
one only will appear on the table, but the others 
are equally necessary for my espagnoUy* my Uonds, 

my * trimmings,' my " "Bertrand, you are 

robbing me, and I can't let this item pass ! " " Ah, 
monseigneur," said the artiste, scarcely able to 
restrain his anger, " you don't know our resources. 
Give the order, and those fifty hams which annoy 
you, I shall put them into a glass bottle no bigger 
than my thumb." 

What reply could be made to an assertion so 
positive ? The Prince smiled, nodded assent, and 
so the item passed. 

It is well known that among nations of primitive 
habits, any business of importance is ac- 


companied by a feast, and that it is during of this 
banquets that savages decide upon war fr*i^P<^^ 

^ ox business. 

or make peace. But, not to leave our 

own country, we see country people making their 

bargains at the public-house. 

* An espagnoUy according to Littr^, is an extremely oonoen- 
trated juice or gravy used to make sauces. 

This same Prince de Soubise (like Bechameil, the maltre dliotel 
of Louis the Magnificent, and Robert, one of the Parisian gas- 
tronomic masters) is as "surely destined to immortality by his 
sauce, as the name of Herschel by his star, or that of Baffin by 
his bay." Our author has a reference to it in the Varieties at the 
end of this work. 


That fact has been taken notice of by some who 
frequently deal with matters of the highest interest. 
They saw that a man with a good bellyful was very 
different from a fasting man ; that the table formed 

a sort of common ground between hosts and guests, 
rendering the latter more susceptible to certain 
impressions and influences. Hence arose political 
gastronomy, by which banquets become a means of 
government, and frequently decide the fate of 

The previous observation is by no means a 
novelty, much less a paradox. Open any historian, 
from Herodotus to the most recent, and you will 
see how it was always at banquets that great events 
of every kind, including even conspiracies, have 
been first thought of, planned and determined upon. 

Such, roughly sketched, is the domain of gas- 
. , tronomy — a domain rich in results of every 

Academy -^ ^ 

of Gastro- kind, and which cannot but extend with 
nomy. ^^ labours and discoveries of science. 
Nay, in a few years, gastronomy must have its 
academicians, its courses of study, its professors 
and its prizes. 

First of all, some enthusiastic and wealthy gas- 
tronome will hold periodical meetings at his house, 
where men learned in the theory will join others 
skilled in the art, in order to discuss and investi- 


gate all the details of alimentary science. There- 
upon, as in the history of all the academies, 
government will take the matter up, and by 
organizing, protecting, and establishing the insti- 
tution, make some compensation to the nation for so 
many children orphaned by the cannon, and for the 
tears of so many wives and mothers. Happy the 
man of influence whose name is to be associated with 
that important foundation ! — ^a name to be repeated 
from age to age, with those of Noah, Bacchus, Trip- 
tolemus, and the other benefactors of our race ; he 
will be amongst the ministers of France what good 
king Henry the Beamais is amongst its kings ; and, 
without any * statute to that end made and pro- 
vided,' his praise wiU be in every movih. 



In the living body, life and motion give rise to a 
constant loss of substance, and the human The defi- 
frame, that complicated machine, would nition. 
speedily become useless, had not Providence placed 
within it a moving force to give warning when its 
powers and its wants are unequally balanced. 


This monitor is the appetite, by which we mean 
the first feeling of a desire to eat. Appetite an- 
nounces itself by a slight sensation of languor in the 
stomach, and general fatigue. The mind, at the 
same time, is occupied with ideas analogous to its 
wants; the memory recalls things which pleased 
the taste; the imagination seems actually to see 
them — the whole state being a sort of dream, yet 
not devoid of a certain charm. We have a thousand 
times heard skilled gastronomes exclaim, in the joy 
of their hearts, " What a pleasure it is to have a 
good appetite, when one is certain of sopn having 
an excellent dinner I " 

Soon, however, the whole alimentary system 
shares in the commotion; the stomach feels 
strongly ; the gastric juices and gases become 
active; the mouth fills with juices, and all the 
digestive powers are in arms, like soldiers ready 
for action, waiting only for the word of command. 

These various states, in all stages, can be seen in 
any drawing-room where the guests are kept waiting 
for dinner. So inherent, indeed, are they in man's 
nature, that their symptoms cannot be disguised by 
the most refined politeness. Hence, I have gathered 
the maxim that. Of all the qualities of a cook, the 
most indispensable is punotuality. 


To support this grave apophthegm, I shall re- 
late what I have myself seen at a dinner party, 

Quornm pars magna fui, 

where my amusement as an observer saved me from 
much of the anguish which others underwent. 

One day I received an invitation to dine with a 
high public functionary, and at the ap- Anecdote 
pointed moment, half-past five, everybody ^ ^^' 


had arrived, for it was known that he 
liked punctuality, and sometimes scolded those 
who were late. I was struck, on my arrival, by 
the air of consternation that seemed to reign 
amongst the company: they whispered to each 
other; they looked out into the courtyard; some 
faces indicated stupefaction : something extraordi- 
nary had certainly happened. 

Going up to one of the guests, whom I thought 
most likely to satisfy my curiosity, I asked him 
what the matter was. 

"Alas!" replied he, in a tone of the deepest 
sorrow, "monseigneur has been sent for to the 
Council of State; he is only starting, and who 
knows when he will be back ? " 

" Is that all ? " said I, with an air of carelessness 
very different from my real feelings ; " it is only a 
matter of a quarter of an hour — some information 
which they require : it is well known that an oflScial 


dinner is given here to-day, and they can't intend 
to make us fast." I spoke thus, though my real 
sentiments were those of anxiety, and I would fain 
have been somewhere else. 

We got over the first hour pretty well. Men 
who had interests in common sat together; every 
commonplace topic was exhausted; and some 
amused themselves with conjectures as to the 
reason of our favourite Amphitryon being summoned 
to the Tuileries. 

At the second hour, you could perceive symptoms 
of impatience; each looked anxiously at his 
neighbour, and the first to utter complaint were 
three or four guests who had not found seats, and 
were therefore in a rather uncomfortable position 
for waiting. 

At the third hour, the dissatisfaction became 
general, and everybody grumbled. " When will he 
come back?" said one. "What does he mean? 
said another. " It will be the death of some of us, 
said a third. 

At the fourth hour, all the symptoms were 
aggravated : some stretched their arms at the risk 
of knocking out their neighbours' eyes; there was 
yawning not only seen but heard all over the room ; 
every face showed marks of intensified feeling. 
Nobody listened to me when I ventured to say that 




he whose absence made as wretched was no donbt 
the most wretched of all. 

Our attention was for a moment diverted by an 
apparition. One of the guests, better acquainted 
with the house than the rest of us, had found his 
way to the kitchens, and now returned breathless. 
His face announced that the end of the world was 
at hand, as, in an inarticulate voice, and with that 
muffled tone which expresses at the same time the 
fear of speaking loud and the desire to be heard, 
he exclaimed, " Monseigneur left the house without 
giving any orders, and however long his absence be, 
dinner will not be served till his return." 

He spoke, and the alarm which his speech oc- 
casioned will not be exceeded by the effect of the 
trumpet on the day of judgment. Amongst all 
those martyrs, the most miserable was the good 
D' Aigrefeuille,* well known in Paris ; he suffered in 

* AigrefeuiUe was an intimate friend and companion of Cam- 
bac^rbs, the leading statesman under Napoleon, at whose house, 
therefore, this incident must be assumed to have occurred. So 
important were the dinners at the Arch-Chancellor*s, that the 
Emperor is said to have generally expressed his satisfaction with 
a conference of diplomatists and plenipotentiaries by the formula, 
•* Go and dine with Cambaceres." 

A bond of connection between Cambaceres and our author may 
have been their legal training and knowledge. It was for his 
talent as a lawyer that Napoleon made him Second Consul, and 
afterwards head of the commission who drew up the famous 
Code Napoleon — perhaps the most valuable monument of his 


every part of his body, and the agony of Laocoon 
was in his face. Pale, wild-looking, seeing nothing, 
he had assumed a crouching position in an easy- 
chair, with his little hands crossed upon his large 
belly, and his eyes closed, not to sleep, but to wait 
the approach of death. 

It came not, howeyer. About ten o'clock, a 
carriage was heard in the court-yard. Everybody 
rose up by a spontaneous movement. Gaiety took 
the place of dejection, and in five minutes we 
were at table. 

But the time of appetite was past. The guests 
had an air of wonder at so unseasonable a dinner : 
their jaws had none of that isochronous action 
which indicates regular work; and in the case of 
several of the guests, I know that the dinner did 
much more harm than good. 

In cases, of that sort, the proper course to pursue 
is to eat nothing at all immediately after the 
forced abstinence, but to swallow a glass of some 
light drink, or a small basin of soup, in order to 
soothe the stomach; and then wait about ten or 
twelve minutes. Unless you do so, the irritated ^ 
organ will be oppressed by the weight of food with 
which you are certain to overload it. 
On great When, in books referring to more pri- 
appetites. mitive ages, we see the preparations made 


for two or three guests, and the huge portions, 
served to each, we are compelled to believe that 
during the infancy of the world men were endowed 
with greater appetites. According to the dignity 
of the personage, his appetite was considered to 
increase in a fixed proportion; and he who was 
served with a whole baron of five-year-old beef, had 
no choice but to drink from a goblet such as he 
could scarcely lift. 

More recently, also, there have appeared some a» 
a testimony of what was possible long ago ; and 
there are many examples on record of a voracity 
almost incredible, and sometimes, indeed, including 
the most unlikely objects. Sparing my readers any 
such details, I prefer to relate two actual instances 
from my own experience, which do not require on 
their part any great effort of faith. 

Some forty years ago, I went to pay a flying visit 
to the vicar of Bregnier, a man of great stature, 
and known throughout the district for his power of 
eating. Though scarcely midday, I found him 
already at table; the soup had been removed, as 
well as the meat boiled in it, and these two regular 
dishes had been followed by a leg of mutton a la 
Boyaley a fine capon, and a large bowl of salad. 

On seeing me, he ordered another knife and fork^ 
which I declined ; and it was well I did so, for alone^ 


and without any assistance, he quite easily got rid 
of everything, leaving of the mutton nothing but 
the bone, of the capon nothing but the skeleton, 
and of the salad nothing but the bowl. Next 
they brought a cheese of considerable size, and in 
it he made an angular breach of ninety degrees ; 
the whole being washed down with a bottle of 
wine and a decanter of water, he then went to 
have his forty winks. 

One thing which delighted me was, that during 
the whole of this performance, lasting nearly three 
quarters of an hour, the venerable pastor did not 
at all seem too much engrossed in his work. The 
huge pieces which he threw into his capacious 
mouth prevented him neither from talking nor 
laughing, and he despatched all that was put before 
him with as little effort as if he had only eaten a 
couple of larks. 

In the same way General Bisson, who drank 
eight bottles of wine every day at breakfast, never 
seemed to be doing anything of the sort. His 
glass was larger than the others, and he emptied it 
oftener; but you would have said that he did it 
without any effort, and, whilst thus imbibing his 
sixteen pints, he could as freely join in pleasant chat 
or give his orders as if he had only drunk a single 


That second instance reminds me of my fellow- 
townsman, the gallant General Sibuet, who was long 
chief aide-de-camp of Massena, and died on the 
field of honour at the passage of the Bober in 1813. 
At the age of eighteen, Prosper had that happy- 
appetite by which Nature announces her intention 
of completing a well-developed man, when one 
evening he entered Genin's dining-rooms, where the 
worthies of the place usually met to eat chestnuts 
over a bottle of the white wine there called 
" cross-grain." 

A superb turkey had just been taken off the spit, 
a fine bird, handsome, golden, done to a turn, and 
scenting the room enough to tempt a saint. The 
village worthies, not being hungry, took very little 
notice of it ; but the digestive powers of young 
Prosper were stirred within him, and with his mouth 
^ watering, he cried, " I have only just had dinner, 
yet I'll lay a bet to eat that big turkey all by 

"Done!" replied Bouvier dn Bouchet, a stout 
farmer who happened to be in the room ; " if you'll 
eat it, I'll pay for you ; but if you come to a halt, 
then you'll pay and I'll eat the rest." 

Instantly setting to work, the young athlete 
detached a wing skilfully and swallowed it in two 
mouthfuls: then kept his teeth in play, whilst 


taking a glass of wine as an interlude, by cnmcliing 
the neck of the fowl. Next he attacked the thigh, 
and after eating it with the same seK-possession, 
took a second glass of wine to clear the way for the 
remainder. Very soon the second wing went the 
same road, and on its disappearance, the performer, 
as keen as ever, was taking hold of the only remain- 
ing limb, when the unfortunate farmer shouted, in 
a doleful tone, " Ah 1 1 see very well you'll win ; but 
as I have to pay, leave me at least a small bit to 

Prosper was as good-natured as he afterwards 
showed himself courageous, and not only consented 
to his opponent's request, who thus had for his share 
the carcase of the fowl, still in excellent condition, 
but paid cheerfully both for the turkey and the 
necessary accompaniments. 

General Sibuet was very fond of quoting this 
youthful exploit, and used to say that it was merely 
<Jut of courtesy that he took the farmer into 
partnership, declaring that without his assistance 

* As the farmer speaks in a frightful patois, somewhat re- 
sembling our Somerset, dashed with a few words of, say, Welsh, 
Savarin takes occasion to boast good-naturedly that the specimen 
proves not only that th is pronounced in France as weU as by the 
English and the Greeks (he might have added the Spanish), 
but that in such words as praou there is heard a diphthong which 
exists in no language, and can be represented by no known 

ON FOOD. 47 

he felt himself perfectly able to gain the wager. 
His appetite at forty moreover, amply proved the 
truth of his assertion* 


What is meant by food? The popular meaning 
is, whatever yields us nourishment ; the i^ defini- 
scientific, any substance which, on being *^°^* 
submitted to the action of the stomach, becomes 
assimilated by digestion, and repairs the losses 
which, from vital use and action, the human body 
suflFers. Thus, the distinctive qtiality of food is 
that it can be assimilated by an animal. 

It is from the animal and vegetable kingdoms 
only that man has hitherto derived his food. 
Minerals have as yet yielded only medicines and 

Since analytical chemistry was classed among the 
real sciences, great advances have been chemical 
made in gaining insight into the consti- analysis, 
tuent elements of the human body, as compared 
with those of the substances evidently intended 
by nature to repair its losses. Between these two 
branches of study there must be a close analogy. 


since man's body is in a great measure made up of 
the same elements as the animals he feeds upon, and 
in vegetables we must look for the affinities which 
render them capable of assimilation by animals. 

I had some intention of here inserting a short 
treatise on the chemistry of foods, and showing my 
readers into how many thousandths of carbon, 
hydrogen, etc., we could reduce them and the dishes 
on which they feed; but I have refrained, on 
reflecting that such a task would merely be equi- 
valent to making a copy of the excellent chemical 
treatises which are already in everybody's hand. 
Moreover, I was afraid of becoming involved in dry 
details, and have accordingly limited myself to the 
use of systematic terms — except, here and there, 
where some chemical results are stated in words less 
bristling and more intelligible. 

The greatest service which chemistry has rendered 
Osma- ^ alimentary science is the discovery, or 
zonae. exact definition, rather, of osmazome. 

Osmazome is that specially sapid part of meat 
which is soluble in cold water, and therefore to be 
distinguished from the " essence," which is soluble 
only in boiling water. It is osmazome which con- 
stitutes the real merit of good soups ; which, passing 
into a state resembling caramel, gives meat its red- 
dish tinge ; which forms the crisp brown on roasts ; 


ON FOOIk 49 

and vhich yields a flaTOur to Tenison and game. 
Osmazome is denTed principally from foil giown 
ATiimalgj with reddish or dark flesh, sach as some 
call folly formed; and it is scarcely eyer fbmid 
in Teal, sucking-pigs, pnUets, or eyen the best fed 
capons. This explains^ by the way, why yonr real 
<3onnoissenr has always, in poultry, prefeired the 
inner thigh ; his taste had instmctiyely anticipated 

By a similar unconscious anticipation of this dis- 
coTery, we can explain the dismissal of so many 
cooks for haying abstracted the first soups; the 
reputation of the ^soupes de primes"; the use of 
a bason of broth as a restoratiye after bathing ; and 
Canon Gheyrier's inyention of haying a padlock on 
the stock-pot. It was this canon, by the by, who 
neyer had spinach seryed up on a Friday unless 
it had been cooked on the Sunday, and daily re* 
placed on the fire with a new addition of fresh 

It was also in order to preyent any waste of this 
substance, though yet unknown, that the maxim 
arose : To make good soup, the pot must only simmer 
— ^^ smile," as the phrase is; and a remarkable 
phrase it is, too, considering its origin. 

Thus osmazome, discoyered after haying so long 
been a source of delight to our forefathers, resembles 


alcohol, with which many generations had become 
tipsy before distillation brought it to light. After 
osmazome comes the product obtained by treating 
meat with boiling water, and generally termed the 
extract or essence ; when combined with osmazome, 
it forms the juice, or gravy. 

Fibre is what composes the flesh tissue, and is 
Of what seen in cooked meat. It can resist boiling 
food is water, preserving its form, although de- 
prived of some enveloping substances. To 
carve well, the blade of the knife should be at 
right angles to the fibre, because thus the meat not 
only looks better, but tastes better, and is more 
easily chewed. 

Bones consist principally of gelatine and phos- 
phate of lime. The gelatine diminishes as one's 
age increases, so that at sixty the bones are merely 
a kind of imperfect marble. Hence their brittleness 
in old men, and the rule of prudence which warns 
them to avoid every chance of a fall. Gelatine 
occurs in the soft parts as well as in bone and carti- 
lage. Its special property is coagulation at the 
ordinary temperature of the air; as when infused 
Jin water, in so small a proportion as two and a half 
per cent. It forms the basis of every kind of jelly, 
blanc-mange, and similar preparations. 

Albumen is foimd both in the flesh and the blood. 

ON FOOD. 5 1 

It coagulates at a lower temperature than 104® Fah- 
Tenheity and forms the scum on soups. 

Blood is composed of albuminous serum^ fibrine, 
and a small quantity of gelatine and of osmazome ; 
it coagulates in hot water, so forming that most 
nourishing article of food, the black-pudding. 

All the elementary constituents now passed under 
review are common to man and the animals on 
which he feeds. We need not wonder, then, that 
animal food has eminently restorative and strength- 
ening qualities; for its particles, having already 
been assimilated, can easily become assimilated 
anew under the action of our digestive organs. 

The vegetable kingdom, nevertheless, is mv 
for nutritive purposes quite as productive vegetable 
of vaneties and resources. ® 

Thus, starch is highly nutritious, being the basis 
of bread, pastry, and every kind of pea-soup ; so 
forming a large proportion of the food of most 
nations. By starch is meant the flour got from 
cereal grains, the different kinds of com, from legu- 
minous plants and many roots, especially the potato. 

It has been remarked that food of this sort 
weakens the fibre, and even the courage, the Indians 
being given as an instance, who live almost ex- 
clusively upon rice, and have become subject to all 
who ever tried to conquer them. On the other 


handy upon nearly all the domestic animals starchy 
food seems to haye a strengthening influence, because 
it is more substantial than their ordinary vegetable 

. Sugar is equally important, both as food and as 
medicine. Formerly attributed only to the Indies 
and distant colonies, it has recently been found to 
be a native of our own country, being traced and 
discovered in the grape, the turnip, the chestnut, 
and, more particularly, the beet-root ; so that Europe 
might actually, in this respect, dispense with the 
services of America and Hindostan. We shall have 
to speak more fully of this important product in 
the following chapter. 

Whether as a solid, or in its natural state as found 
in different plants, sugar is extremely nutritious. 
Animals are fond of it ; and the English, who fre- 
quently give it to their favourite horses, have 
observed that thus they can stand better their 
different trials of exertion. Formerly only sold by 
apothecaries, it has in modem times given rise to 
various lucrative occupations, such as confectioners, 
liqueur-sellers, and other dealers in sweetmeats. 

The oils derived from the vegetable kingdom, 
and used for food, are so used in virtue of the 
substances with which they are in combination, and 
should be regarded principally as a seasoning. 

ON FOOD. 53 

Gluten, which is derived more especially from 
com, assists powerfully in the fermentation of bread, 
and some chemists have even assigned to it some 
property akin to life. In Paris there is a kind of 
cakes made to contain much gluten, part of the 
starch being removed by means of water. They are 
used for children and birds. 

Other nutritious products of this kingdom are 
mucilage, gum, and a sort of gelatine extracted 
from various fruits, especially apples, gooseberries, 
quinces, and some others. Jellies of that sort re- 
quire less sugar than those derived from bones, 
horns, calves-feet, and fish; and forming a light, 
pleasant, and wholesome nourishment, are much 
used both in kitchen and pantry. 

Excepting the juice, which, as already pointed 
out, is comprised of osmazome and the jj^^ggj^ 
essential basis, we find in fish most of and flesh 
the substances noticed in the flesh of land 
animals, such as fibrine, gelatine, albumen : hence, 
one can say with reason that the gravy makes all 
the diflference between Lenten fare and an ordinary 

Another characteristic of the fare prescribed in 
Lent is that it contains a considerable proportion 
of phosphorus and hydrogen, two very combustible 
elements. Hence, a fish diet is of a heating quality. 


which perhaps explains the reputation formerly 
enjoyed by certain religious orders who used a 
regimen quite opposed to the weakest of their vows. 

SiMGifll ■"■ ^^^ ^J ^^ more on this physiological 

illuBtta- question, except to mention a fact the 
truth of which can easily be verified. 

Some years ago, I went to call at a house in the 
suburbs of Paris, situated on the banks of the 
Seine, opposite the island of St. Denis. There was 
a small hamlet of about eight or ten fishermen's 
huts, and being amazed at the numbers of children 
that I saw swarming on the road, I expressed my 
surprise to the boatman who was rowing me across. 

"There are only eight families of us here, sir," 
said he, "and we have fifty-three chUdren-forty- 
nine girls and only four boys ; and my son there is 
one of the four." As he spoke, he held up his 
head proudly, and pointed to a little monkey, five 
or six years old, who sat at the bows of the boat 
crunching some raw cray-fish. 

This observation, made more than ten years ago, 
and others that I could easily give, induced me to 
believe that the genetic properties of a fish diet are 
due to it as an excitant merely — a doctrine that I 
maintain all the more stoutly since Doctor Bailly 
has proved, as the result of observations made for 
nearly a century, that when in the annual list of 

ON FOOD. 55 

births the number of girls is notably greater than 
that of the boys, the excess is invariably due to 
debilitating circumstances. This may also explain 
some of those staple jokes with which people rally a 
man when his wife is brought to bed of a daughter.* 

Much might still be said on alimentary substances, 
both generally and in detail; but the preceding 
will, I trust, suflSce for the majority of my readers. 
The others I refer to the professional treatises, and, 
meantime, close with a remark of some importance. 

In a living organism, we have results quite 
different from those obtained in abstract chemistry, 
because the organs intended to produce life and 
movement exercise a strong influence upon the 
elementary substances submitted to them. But 
nature, who takes pleasure in veiling herself, and 
stopping us at the second or third step, has com- 
pletely concealed her chemical transformations; 
and it is really impossible to explain how, given a 
human body containing lime, sulphur, phosphorus, 
iron, and a dozen other substances besides, the whole 
can nevertheless be, for several years, kept up and 
renewed with nothing but bread and water. 

* Some dUigent enquiry and discreet oonsnltation of wise 
matrons have been rewarded by finding a survived of Savarin's 
saying in our English folk-lore. On the occurrence of the domestic 
event referred to in the text, some smiling dame Quickly, or a 
merry nurse like Juliet's, wiU shrewdly remark that " this time he 
was not man enough." 



When I began writing, I had the whole plan of the 
book in my head and the table of contents made 
out; yet I have advanced but slowly, because my 
time was partly devoted to graver occupations. In 
the meantime, accordingly, some parts of the subject 
have been touched upon by others; elementary 
works on chemistry and physiology are in every- 
body's hands, and many things are already popular- 
ized which I had hoped to be the first to teach. 
Hence, on revising what I had written on gas- 
tronomic chemistry, I so curtailed it that there only 
remains a few elementary principles, some theories 
which cannot be too widely known, and a few ob- 
servations — the fruit of a lengthened experience, 
and still, I trust, new to most of my readers. 

Soup is obtained by extracting the soluble parts 
Soup and f^^^^ ^ piece of beef. The water dis- 
broth. solves first a part of the osmazome ; then 
the albumen, which coagulates at about 104° Fahren- 
heit, and is skimmed off the surface; then the 
remainder of the osmazome with essential juice, and 
finally some parts of the fibre. 


To have good soup, the water must be heated 
gently, in order to draw out the albumen before it 
is coagulated, and the boiling must be almost 
imperceptible, in order to mix thoroughly and 
gradually the soluble parts which the meat succes- 
sively yields. Sometimes vegetables or roots are 
added to the plain soup to improve the flavour, 
and macaroni or bread to make it more nourishing : 
it is then a potage^ or vegetable soup or broth — 
a wholesome, light, and nutritious food, suitable for 
all; not only satisfying, but giving tone to the 
digestive organs. 

It is generally admitted that nowhere is better 
soup to be had than in France, and in my travels 
I have seen the truth of the statement confirmed. 
Nor need the result be wondered at; for, being 
always a national French dish, it must necessarily 
have more and more improved by ages of ex- 

The beef used in making the soup is healthy, 
satisfying, and easily enough digested, but Boiled 
does not give much strength, because l>«ef>&o- 
during the boiling much of the assimilative juices 
has been lost. In fact, it is a rule of housekeeping 
that beef loses a half of its weight when boiled in 

All eaters of such a dish we class under four 


categories: fiist, the men of roatine, who eat it 
becanse their forefathers ate it, and hope, from their 
implicit submission to the practice, to be also imi- 
tated by their children ; secondly, impatient guests, 
who must be doing something at table, and have 
therefore contracted the habit of throwing them- 
selves without hesitation upon whatever is first laid 
before them; thirdly, men without discrimination, 
who, not having received from heaven the sacred 
fire, look upon dining as a mere task, put all kinds 
of food on the same level, and at table are like so 
many oysters on a shelf; fourthly, the gluttons, 
who, wishing to conceal their capacity for swd,llow- 
ing, throw hurriedly into their stomachs whatever 
comes first, to serve as a victim to appease the 
devouring fire within, and form a basis for all that 
is to be sent the same way. 

From regard to his principles, the accomplished 
gastronome never eats beef cooked in that way — one 
of his most incontestable maxims being that such a 
dish is meat without the gravy or principal part. 

I adhere strongly to the doctrine of second 
Poultry causes, and firmly believe that all the gal- 
in general, linaceous order have been created for the 
sole purpose of furnishing our larders and enriching 
our banquets. In fact, from the quail to the turkey, 
wherever we meet an individual of that numerous 


family, we arq certain of light, savoury food, snitable 
to the invalid as well as to the man who enjoys 
robust health. For is there any man, condemned 
for a time to hermit's fare by the faculty, who has 
not smiled with delight to see a neatly carved wing 
of chicken, announcing his restoration to social life? 

We are not satisfied with the qualities which 
nature has bestowed upon the gallinaceous race ; and 
on the pretext of improving them by art, we have 
made martyrs of them. They are not only pre- 
vented from reproduction, but kept in solitude or 
darkness, and so stuffed with food as to reach a size 
which nature never intended. 

There is no doubt, however, that the preternatural 
fat is delicious, and that it is to those blameworthy 
practices that we owe the delicacy and juiciness of 
some of our most favourite dishes. Thus improved 
by art, poultry is for the cook what his canvas is to 
the painter, or his wonderful hat to the conjuror % 
we have it served up, boiled, roasted, or fried, hot or 
cold, whole or in parts, with or without sauce, boned, 
grilled, or stuffed, and always with the same success. 

There are three places in France rivals for the 
honour of furnishing the best poultry : Caux, Mans, 
and Bresse. As to capons, there is some doubt in 
deciding; and that which a man has his fork in 
must be the best. But as to chickens, the finest are 


those from Bresse, which are as round as an apple 
It is a great pity they are so rare in Paris, where 
they only arrive when sent with a present of game. 

One of the finest presents made by the New 
The World to the Old is the turkey, decidedly, 

turkey. gome of those who wish always to be better 
informed than their neighbours, tell us that the 
turkey was known to the Bomans, that it was served 
up at the marriage-feast of Charlemagne, and that 
therefore it is out of the question to give the Jesuits 
the credit of this savoury importation. 

To meet those paradoxes, there were two objec- 
tions : first, the name " Coq-d'Inde," or " dindon," 
which is a proof of its origin, since formerly, America 
was called the " West Indies ; " second, its shape, 
which is evidently quite foreign. No man able to 
judge could be mistaken as to the fact ; yet, though 
thoroughly convinced, I have made considerable 
researches on the matter, and now present the 
reader with the results, as follows : — 

The turkey first appeared in Europe towards the 
end of the seventeenth century. Second, it was im- 
ported by the Jesuits, who reared them in great num- 
bers, and especially at a farm belonging to them in 
the suburbs of Bourges. Third, they spread thence 
by degrees over the whole of France, and in many 
places the Dopular term for a turkey was, and to some 


extent is, a "Jesuit." Fourth, America is the only 
place where the wild turkey has been found. Fifth, 
on the North American farms, where it is very com- 
mon, it is got, either by taking the eggs and getting 
them hatched, or by catching the young birds in the 
i^oods and taming them ; one result of which is, that 
they more nearly resemble the wild turkey. 

Convinced by these proofs, I retain a double 
feeling of gratitude to those holy fathers ; for they 
also imported cinchona — ^the " Jesuit's bark " of the 

By the same researches, I find that the turkey is 
gradually becoming acclimatized in France. Intel- 
ligent observers tell us that, in the middle of the 
last century, out of twenty that were hatched, 
scarcely ten came to maturity, whereas now the 
result gives fifteen. Storms of rain are especially 
fatal to them; the large drops frequently causing 
death by striking on their tender and imdefended 

The turkey is the largest of our domestic fowls, 
and if not the finest, is the most savoury, yf^^ -^^ 
Moreover, people of all classes unite to *^^®y- 
honour the turkey. When, in the long winter 
evenings, our wine-growers and farmers wish to 
regale themselves, what is seen roasting at the hot 
fire in the kitchen, where the cloth is laid ? A tux- 


key. When the artisan op workman invites several 
friends, that they may together enjoy one of the 
holidays, so much prized, because so rare — what is 
the dish which, as a matter of course, he gives them 
at dinner? A turkey, stuffed with sausages and 
chestnuts. And in circles of the highest reputation 
in gastronomy, in select companies, where even 
politics must give place to discussions on the art of 
good living, what is expected. and looked for? what 
do you always see at the second course ? Why, a 
turkey done with truffles. And in my " Memoirs as 
a Public Man," it is noted how more than once its 
restoring juices have lighted up the faces of distin- 
guished diplomatists. 

The importation of turkeys has given rise to a 
Its influ- considerable trade, ' and occasioned some 

the mraiey i^^^^®^® ^ ^^ public revenue. With 
market, reference to truffle^ turkeys only, I have 
reason to believe that in Paris alone, from the 
beginning of November to the end of February, 
there is a daily consumption of three hundred; 
which altogether amounts to about £28,300, a very 
handsome sum to put in circulation. To that should 
be added a similar sum for the fowls, pheasants, 
chickens and partridges, which we see every day 
displayed in the shops, torturing every beholder 
who is too short of cash to reach them. 


During my stay at Hartford in Connecticut, I 
had the good fortune to kill a wild tur- a personal 
key. That exploit deserves to be handed exploit, 
down to posterity, and I shall tell it all the more 
complacently that I am myself the hero. 

An old American farmer, who lived in the back- 
woods, invited me to a day's shooting, promising me 
partridges, grey squirrels, and wild turkeys. He 
told me, also, if I liked, to bring a friend or two 
with me. 

Accordingly, on a fine October day in 1794, we 
set out, my friend King and I, mounted on hacks, in 
the hope of reaching, about dusk, Mr. Bulow's farm, 
situated about fifteen mortal miles from Hartford. 
King was a sportsman of rather a peculiar sort ; for, 
although passionately fond of the exercise, he had 
no sooner killed a bird or beast, than he looked upon 
himself as a murderer, and made moral and elegiac 
reflections on the fate of the defunct. This, how- 
ever, did not prevent him from beginning again. 

Though the road was a mere track, we arrived 
safely, and were received with that hearty unob- 
trusive hospitality which is, shown by acts : every 
one of us, men, horses, and dpgs, being in a couple of 
minutes examined, kindly" treated, and comfortably 

It took us about two hours to inspect the farm and 


its dependencies ; and I should willingly describe it 
all, did I not prefer to show the reader Mr. Bulow*s 
daughters, four buxom lasses, for whom our arrival 
was a great event. Their age was from sixteen to 
twenty; they were radiant with freshness and 
he^th, and, in all their manners and movements, so 
simple, lithe, and easy, that even the most ordinary 
action lent them a thousand charms. 

Soon after our walk over the farm, we sat down to 
a table, which was abundantly supplied. There was 
a superb joint of corned beef, a stewed goose, and a 
magnificent haunch of mutton, with vegetables of all 
kinds, and at each end of the table two huge jugs of 
exceUent cider, of which I never tired drinking. 
After showing our host that, in appetite at least, 
we were genuine sportsmen, he turned his attention 
to the object of our journey, indicating the best 
places to find game, the land-marks by which we 
should find our way back, and especially the farms 
where we could obtain refreshments. The ladies 
having in the mean time made ready some exceUent 
tea, we drank two or three cups of it, and were then 
shown to a double-bedded room, where we slept 
luxuriously after our exercise and good cheer. 

Next morning we started for the chase, though 
not .very early, and after reaching the limits of 
the clearings made by Mr. Bulow, I found myself 


for the first time in a virgin forest, where the axe 
had never yet resounded. It was delicious to walk 
through it, noting the good and the evil wrought 
by Time, the creator and destroyer ; and I amused 
myself in tracing all the various phases of an oak's 
existence, from the moment it springs out of the 
earth with two leaves, to that when all that remains 
of it is a long dark line — the dust of its heart. 

After being scolded by King for letting my 
brains go a wool-gathering, we began our sport. 
First we killed several of those pretty little gray 
partridges which are so plump and tender; next 
we brought down six or seven gray squirrels, much 
thought of in that country ; and finally, our lucky 
star led us into the midst of a flock of turkeys. 
They rose up each a short time after another, flying 
with a quick, noisy flap of the wings, and screaming 

King fired at the first turkey and then gave 
chase. The others were out of shot, when the only 
remaining straggler rose at ten yards' distance ; I 
took aim as he crossed a clearing, and the bird fell 

To understand my extreme delight at this fine 
shot, you must be a sportsman. I laid hold upon 
the noble bird, and was turning it on every side, 
when I heard King shouting for assistance. I ran 



to the place, and found that all he wanted was to 
assist him in finding a turkey which he declared 
he had killed, although nowhere to be found. I 
set my dog on the search; but he led us into 
thickets so close and thorny that a snake could not 
have gone through, and we had to give it up as 
a bad job — a result which by no means improved 
my companion's temper during the rest of our 

Nothing of importance followed, unless that, on 
our way back, we lost ourselves in those illimitable 
woods, and ran a great risk of having to spend the 
night there, had it not been for the bass voice of 
Mr. Bulow, mixed with the silvery voices of his 
daughters. They had come to meet us, and thus 
got us out of our diflSculty. 

The four sisters were fully equipped with £resh 
dresses, new sashes, pretty hats and dainty boots, 
all of which showed they had taken some pains on 
our account; and for my part, I wished to be as 
amiable as possible to the one who took my arm, 
which she did with the air of having quite a wife's 
right to do so. 

On arriving at the farm, we found supper on the 
table. Before sitting down, however, we enjoyed 
for a minute or two the cheerful blaze of a fire 
which had been lighted to refresh us — ^a custom 


derived, I believe, from the Indians, who have 
always a fire in their cabins. Or it may be a tra- 
dition from St. Francis de Sales, who used to say 
that a fire is a good thing for twelve months of the 
year ; an opinion, however, to which I do not sub- 

After eating as if we had been famished, an ample 
bowl of punch was brought to assist in finishing off 
the evening, and the conversation of our host, who 
talked much more unreservedly and at his ease 
than on the previous evening, led us far into the 
night. We spoke of the War of Independence, 
in which Mr. Bulow had served as a superior ofiScer; 
of Lafayette, whom the Americans always call 
*^the Marquis," and whose memory they regard 
with an ever-increasing respect ; of agriculture, then 
greatly enriching the United States ; and, finally, 
of my own dear France, which I then loved all 
the more from being compelled to leave it. 

From time to time, Mr. Bulow would, as an 
interlude, ask his eldest daughter, Maria, to give us 
a song. Without being pressed, though not without 
a charming hesitation, she sang us the national 
** Yankee Doodle," the "Lament of Queen Mary," 
and one on Major Andre — all popular in that part of 
the country. Maria had been taught music, and 
was considered quite accomplished; but the great 


charm in her singing was the tone of her voice, at 
once sweet, unaffected, and clear. 

Next morning we started, though pressed kindly 
to stay ; but, as they were getting the horses 
ready, Mr. Bulow took me aside and made the 
following remarkable observations : — 

" In me you see a happy man, if there is one on 
earth. All that surroimds you, or that you have 
seen in my house, is produced on the farm ; these 
stockings were knitted by my daughters ; my shoes 
and clothes come from my flocks, which, with my 
garden and farmyard, also supply plain and sub- 
stantial food. Moreover, it is to the honour of our 
government that in Connecticut there are thousands 
of farmers quite as well off as myself, and not one of 
them, any more than myself, ever locks his doors. 
We have scarcely any taxes, or anything else to 
disturb our peace of mind. Congress assists the 
growth of our industries in every possible way ; we 
have agents from every quarter to rid us of what- 
ever we have to sell ; and at the present moment, 
for example, I have sufficient money in hand for a 
long time, having just sold at twenty four dollars 
the wheat which I usually give for eight. All 
these advantages are due to the liberty which we 
have gained by arms and founded on good laws. I 
am master here; and you will not be astonished to 




know that we never heax the sound of the drum, 
and unless on the fourth of July, the glorious 
anniversary of our independence, never see either 
soldiers, uniforms, or bayonets." 

Throughout the whole time of our return from 
the farm I was absorbed in deep thought, not, how- 
ever, about Mr. Bulow's concluding speech, but 
something very different. I was thinking how I 
should get my turkey cooked, being afraid, for one 
thing, that I could not . find everything at Hartford 
that was necessary to display my spolia opima to 
advantage, and so raise a trophy of my skill. 

It costs me a painful effort to suppress the details 
of my exertions, as artisfe^ to give to my American 
guests a dinner in good style. Suffice it to say that 
the wings of the partridges were served up en 
papillote, and the gray squirrels stewed in Madeira. 
As for the turkey, which was the only roast we had, 
it was tempting to look upon, delightful to smell, 
and delicious to taste ; and so, up to the disappear- 
ance of the very last morsel, you could hear, all 
round the table, " Very good ! "— " Excellent ! " 
— ** My dear sir, what a glorious bit ! " * 

* * The flesh of the vhld turkey has more colour and flavour 
%}i»^ that of the domestic turkey. M. Bosc tells me that he 
has shot some in Carolina much finer than those we have in 
Europe, and he advises all rearers of turkeys to give them as 
much liberty as possible, take them out into the fields and even 
the woods, in order to heighten their flavour and bring them 
nearer the primitive species/ 


The term game is applied to those animals, good 
for food, which live in the woods and 


fields in a state of nature. We say 
"good for food," in order to exclude such animals 
as the fox, the badger, the raven, the wild goose, the 
owl, and so forth. 

We classify game in three divisions. First, all 
the small birds, from the thrush downwards. The 
second includes the corn-crake, the snipe, partridge, 
pheasant, hares and rabbits — ^game properly so- 
called, on lands or marshes, with down or feathers. 
The third is generally known as venison ; to wit, the 
wild boar, deer, roebuck, and others analogous. 

Game is a principal luxury at the dinner-table ; 
it is wholesome, heating, well-tasted and flavoured, 
and easy of digestion to young stomachs. Many of 
those qualities, however, are due in a great measure 
to the skill of the cook. Throw into a pot of water 
some salt and a piece of beef, and you have pre- 
sently soup and a dish of boiled meat. Instead of 
beef put venison — ^you will have but poor fare ; from 
this point of view, butcher's meat has the advantage. 
Under the directions of a skilful cook, however, 
game is scientifically modified and transformed in 
very many ways, furnishing most of the highly 
flavoured dishes which are the chief boast of 
gastronomic art. 


Game also owes much of its quality to the nature 
of the ground it is fed on. The red partridge of 
Perigord tastes differently from that of Sologne; 
and whilst a hare killed in the neighbourhood of 
Paris seems but a poor dish, a leveret from the sun- 
burnt slopes of Valromey or the highlands of 
Dauphine might be pronounced the finest flavoured 
of all quadrupeds. 

Amongst small birds, the first in order of 
excellence is, without contradiction, the fig-pecker. 
He fattens quite as much as the redbreast or the 
ortolan, and nature has endowed him with so 
exquisite a combination of a slightly bitter tang 
and a very choice flavour, that all parts of the 
gustatory organs are brought into play, fully 
occupied, and beatified. If the fig-peckers were as 
big as pheasants, they would certainly cost as much 
apiece as an acre of land.* 

* * When I was a boy, the people of Belley used to speak of a 
Jesnit brother Fabi, and his special predilection for the flg- 
peckers. As soon as they were cried in the street, some one 
would say, " There are the fig-peckers ; Father Fabi will be here 
presently." And, sure enough, he never failed to arrive with a 
Mend on the first of September. 

* So long as he was in France, he never omitted this omithophilio 
visit, which was only interrupted when he was sent to Kome, 
where he died a penitentiary in 1788. He was a man of learning, 
and wrote several works on theology and physics, trying to prove, 
in one of them, that he had discovered the circulation of the blood 
before, or at least as soon as, Harvey.' 

Among small birds, the English toheatear might, as a delicacy, 


Few people know how to eat small birds. The 
following is the proper mode, as confided to me by 
Canon Charcot, a professional gastronome of the 
first order thirty years before the word was known. 
Taking the plump little bird by the beak, sprinkle 
a little salt over him, pull out the gullet, pop him 
cleverly into your mouth, and biting him off close to 
the fingers, chew with aU your might; you will imme- 
diately have juice enough to flood the palate, and yoQ 
will taste a pleasure unknown to the uninitiated — 

Odi profimum vnlgas et arceo. — ^HoB. 

Of all kinds of game, properly so-called, the quail 
is perhaps the chief favourite, giving pleasure not 
only by taste, but by its form and colour. Only 
ignorance can excuse those who serve it up otherwise 
than roasted or en papillotes, because its flavour is 
so easily lost, that if the animal is plunged in any 
liquid it evaporates and disappears. 

The woodcock is also a bird well deserving 
notice, but few know all its good points. It should 
be roasted under the eye of a sportsman, especially 
the sportsman who has killed it. 

vie with the French hecfigue, A Scotch oflScer was dining with 
the late Lord George Lennox, when commandant at Portsmouth, 
and, being placed near a dish of wheatears, they began to dis- 
appear with great rapidity. Lady Louisa Lennox tried to divert 
his attention to another dish. ^' Na, na, my leddy," was the reply; 
*' these wee birdies will do very well." 


Above the preceding, and indeed, above all, 
must be placed the pheasant ; but only few mortals 
can have it served up to perfection. Eaten within 
a week after being killed, pheasants are inferior 
to both partridges and chickens, for their merit 
consists in the aroma, in virtue of which a 
pheasant, taken at the proper stage, becomes a 
morsel worthy of any gastronome of the foremost 
reputation in the art. 

Later on I shall show how to roast a pheasant 
a la sainte alliance ; for the time is now come when 
that method should, for the happiness of mankind^ 
be known far and wide. 

It has been maintained, by some men of great 

learning but little orthodoxy, that the 

On fiflh. 

ocean has been the common cradle of every 
living thing, and that even the human race is 
derived from it, their present state being due to the 
new element, air, and the new habits which it gave 
occasion for. However this may be, it is certain 
that the watery empire contains an immense number 
of beings of every form and size, with vital qualities 
in very different proportions. 

Fish, being less nourishing than meat, and more 
succulent than vegetables, forms a " middle term," 
suitable to nearly every temperament, and may be 
allowed even to convalescents. 


The Greeks and Eomans, though not so advanced 
in the art of preparing fish, held it nevertheless in 
great repute, and pushed their refinement to such a 
point as to be able, by merely tasting, to tell in what 
water it had been caught. They had ponds to keep 
them in, and the classical reader will remember the 
cruelty of Vedius PoUio, who fed his lampreys with 
the bodies of slaves killed for the purpose — an act 
of cruelty which the Emperor Domitian highly 
blamed, and which he ought to have punished.* 

A great discussion has been raised as to whether 
sea fish or fresh- water fish should bear the palm ; 
and most probably the question will always remain 
open, since, as the Spaniards say, " sobre gustos no 
hay disputas." 

Every man is afiected differently : those fleeting 
sensations cannot be expressed in any language, and 
we have no standard by which to compare a cod-fish, 
a sole, or a turbot, with a salmon-trout, a pike of the 
primest, or even a tench of six to seven pounds. 

It is agreed on all hands that fish is much less 
nourishing than meat, whether on account of the 
want of osmazome, or of its being less dense and 
substantial. Shell-fish, especially oysters, afford 

* Our author has curiously (considering Domitian^s character) 
put one emperor for another, Augustus. For the story of the eel- 
pond, and the punishment which was inflicted, see Dr. Smith's 
*' Class. Diet." 


little nourishing matter, which explains why a man 
can eat so many just before dinner without spoiling 
his appetite. Formerly, as many of us can re- 
member, every dinner of importance began with 
oysters, and there was always a good number of the 
guests who would swallow a gross without stopping. 
Wishing once to know the weight of this advance 
guard, I ascertained that a dozen oysters weigh four 
ounces, and a gross, therefore, three pounds; and 
there is no doubt the appetites of the guests would 
have been completely appeased if they had eaten 
the same quantity of meat, even if only chicken. 

In 1798 I was at Versailles, as Commissary of the 
Directory, and had frequently to meet the Oyster 
registrar of the tribunal, M. Laperte. He ^^ecdote. 
was so fond of oysters that he used to grumble^ 
about never having had what he called "a good 
bellyful." Being determined to procure him that 
satisfaction, I asked him to dinner. He came; I 
kept up with him to the third dozen, letting him 
then go on by himself; he went on steadily to the 
thirty-second, that is to say, for more than an hour 
— as they were opened but slowly ; and as in the 
meantime I had nothing else to do — a state quite 
unbearable at table — I stopped him just as he was. 
beginning to show more go than ever. " My dear 
boy," said I, " it must be some other day that you 


are to have * a good bellyful ' of them ; let us now 
have some dinner." 

We took dinner, and he showed all the vigour 
and action of a man who had been fasting. 

Among the ancients, there were two famous kinds 
Muria, ^^ fish-sauce, muria and garvm. The 
g*""^ former was nothing but the brine of the 
tunny, or more exactly, the liquid which the 
mixture of salt caused to flow from that fish. 
Garum, which was more valued, is not so well 
known ; some think it was extracted from the salted 
entrails of the scomber, or mackerel, though that 
leaves its high price unexplained. It seems likely 
it was a foreign sauce ; perhaps even the "soy" which 
we get from India, and which is known to be got by 
the fermentation of a mixture of fish and mushrooms. 

Certain races have, from their position, been com- 
pelled to live almost solely on fish : they 

Fifih-diet. ^ , 

also use it not only to feed their beasts of 
burden, till even they take it habitually, but also 
as manure; yet the surrounding sea never ceases 
yielding always the same quantity. 

It has been remarked that those races are less 
courageous than people who live on meat. They 
are pale, which is not astonishing, since, from the 
•chemical composition, fish-food must increase the 
lymph more than repair the blood. Kumerous 


examples of longeyity have also been noticed among 
fish-eating laces, perhaps because a light, unsubstan- 
tial diet prevents too great fulness of blood. 

However that may be, fish, under skiKul hands, 
offers inexhaustible resources of gustatory enjoy- 
ment ; it is served up entire, in pieces, or sliced ; 
done in water, in oU, or in wine ; hot or cold ; and 
in all cases it receives a hearty welcome. It never, 
however, deserves a more favourable reception than 
when done d la matelote — ^a provocative which no 
lovers of fish ever see appear without expressions of 
the highest delight, whether because it combines 
several good qualities, or because one can eat of it 
to an undefined extent without fear of satiety or 

Fish, using the term to indicate all the species 
considered as one whole, is for the philo- pj^ 
sopher a source of endless meditation and phical re- 
astonishment. As for myseK, I have for 
those creatures a sentiment akin to respect, springing 
from a deep conviction that they are antediluvian ; 
for the great cataclysm which drowned our grand- 
imcles about the eighteenth century of the world's 
history, was for the fishes nothing but a time of joy, 
conquest, and festivity. 

Whoever says " truffle," utters a word associated 
with many enjoyments. The origin of the truffle is 


unknown ; it is found, but how it is produced, or its 
On mode of growth, nobody knows. Men of 

truffles. jTj^Q greatest skill have studied the ques- 
tion ; and some felt certain they had discovered the 
seeds, and thus could multiply the truffle at will. 
Vain efforts and deceitful promises ! Their planting 
produced no crop ; and it is, perhaps, no great mis- 
fortune: for since truffles are often sold at fancy 
prices, they would probably be less thought of if 
people could get plenty of them and at a cheap rate. 

" What delightful news for you, my dear lady," 
said I one day to Madame V. ; " an invention for 
making lace has just been brought before the 
Society for the Encouragement of Science, and 
superb Brussels will be sold for almost nothing ! " 
" Eeally ! " replied my fair friend, with a look of 
supreme indifference ; " but if lace were cheap, do 
you think one would wear such ragged-looking 

The glory of the truffle may now, in 1825, be 

SDeoial ®^^^ *^ ^^^® reached its culmination. Who 
qualities can dare mention being at a dinner un- 
less it had its piece truffee. However 
good an entree may be, it requires truffles to set it 
off to advantage. Who has not felt his mouth 
water at the mere Mention of truffes a la proven^ale ? 
Then a 8aut6 de truffes^ again, is a dish reserved for 


the lady of the house to do the honours. In a word, 
the truffle is the very gem of gastronomic materials. 

The best truffles in France come from Perigord 
and High Provence, and it is about January they 
are in full flavour. Those of Burgundy and 
Dauphine are inferior, being hard and wanting in 
flavour. Thus, there are truffles and truffles, as 
there are " faggots and faggots." 

The term "sugar" was formerly applied only to 
the thickened crystallized juice of the 

. . On sugar. 

cane ; but, more generally, it is a sweet, 
crystallizable substance, which by fermentation 
yields carbonic acid and alcohol. 

From some passages in the ancient writers we can 
readily believe that the Eomans had observed that 
a sweet juice is yielded by certain reeds. Thus 
Lucan says : 

Quique bibimt teiier& dulces ab arundine suooos. 

But from such sweetish juice to the sugar of 
modem times is an immense leap. It is in the Kew 
World that sugar had its real origin. 

For a long time men believed that it required 
the heat of the tropics to grow sugar, till, about 
1740, Margraff discovered it in some plants of the 
temperate zone, such as the beet-root. Then, at the 
commencement of the present century, the French 


Government encouraged scientific investigation into 
the matter, and with abundant success, for it became 
certain that sugar was widely dispersed throughout 
the vegetable kingdom. It was found in the grape, 
the chestnut, the potato, and more especially the 
beet-root. Hence the extensive cultivation in 
France of that last-mentioned plant, with such 
success as to prove abundantly that, so far as sugar 
is concerned, the Old World could manage without 
the New. In connection with this, I may mention, 
as a striking instance of the force of prejudice 
and of the diflSculty of establishing a fact, that out 
of a hundred British subjects taken indiscriminately, 
there are not ten who believe that sugar can be 
made from the beet-ix)ot. 

The use of sugar becomes daily more frequent 
and general, and no article of food has undergone 
more transformations or combinations. Mixed with 
water it gives a refreshing, wholesome, and pleasant 
drink ; or, when in larger proportion and concen- 
trated, syrups. Ices are another preparation due to 
sugar, said to have been introduced from Italy by 
Catherine de Medici ; then there are liqueurs and 
cordials in great variety, by combining it with wines 
or spirits. Mixed with flour and eggs, it gives 
biscuits of a hundred kinds — as macaroons, etc.; 
with milk it gives creams, blancs-Tnangera, and so 


forth, which form so agreeable a termination to a 
second course^ and substitute for the taste of the 
solids a fiayour more refined and ethereal. Mixed 
with coffee, it develops its aroma, and when milk 
is added, gives a light and pleasant food, very- 
suitable for men of studious habits, and an espe- 
cial favourite of the ladies. Mixed with fruit and 
the essence of flowers, it gives preserves, marma- 
lades, candies, and other confections, ingeniously 
retaining for us the enjoyment of their flavours and 
perfumes long after the time fixed as the natural 

M. Delacroix, an author whose writings are as 
popular as they are numerous, used to grumble at 
Versailles about the price of sugar — ^then more than 
four shillings a pound. " Ah ! " he would say in his 
gentle way, " if ever it should come to be sold at a 
shilling, I shall never drink water without sugar in 
it.'* His prayers have been heard, and, as he still 
lives, I suppose he keeps his word. 

According to ancient tradition, coffee was dis- 
covered by a shepherd who observed that origin of 
as often as his flock browsed on the coffee- °°^®®* 
tree or ate the berries they showed more excitement 
and gaiety. However that may be, at least half 
the honour belongs unquestionably to whoever first 
thought of roasting the coffee-beans, for it is when 


carbonized that they yield the aroma and character- 
istic oil. 

' The Turks, our masters in this particular, never 
use any mill for grinding coflfee, but crush it in 
mortars with wooden crushers. Accordingly, to test 
which is the preferable method, I carefully roasted 
a pound of good Mocha, and dividing it into two 
equal parts, got one of them ground, and the other 
crushed in the Turkish manner. Then, having 
made coflfee of each powder in exactly the same 
way, I tasted it, and also got the opinion of several 
big-wigs. The unanimous verdict was that the 
crushed was undoubtedly better than the ground.* 

" Sir," said Napoleon one day to the Senator 
niuBtra- Laplace, " how does it happen that a glass 
tion. Qf water in which I melt a piece of loaf- 

sugar seems much better than that in which I put 

* In the * Memoirs of Dr. Chalmers,' we read of a select company 
of connoisseiirs being assembled to decide upon the compara- 
tive merits of coffee (then — 1810 — *a new beverage* in Fifeshirc) 
and an invention of his own, an infusion of burnt rye. It was 
agreed that each should be furnished first with a cup of the best 
Mocha, and then with a cup of the rye-coffee, or * genuine 
Kilmany,' as it was nicknamed. In due time the -company 
assembled, and the coffee being handed round, met with general 
approbation. The second cup was then presented ; by one after 
another an adverse verdict was pronounced, culminating in the 
intense disgust of Professor Duncan, who shouted, ^' Much inferior, 
very much inferior ! ** Chalmers's reply was a roar of laughter, 
with the words, *^ It's your own Mocha coffee ; the second cup is 
just the same article as the first ! " 


the same quantity of crushed sugar?" "Sire,** 
answered the man of science, ** there are three 
substances whose elementary constituents are ex- 
actly the same; viz. : sugar, gum, and starch; they 
only differ in certain conditions of which nature 
reserves to herself the secret, and it is possible, in 
my opinion, that some of the particles may, in the 
process of crushing, pass from the sugary state to 
that of starch or gum, and so cause the difference 
referred to." 

It is beyond doubt that coffee acts upon the 
functions of the brain as an excitant. Effects of 
Every one who drinks it for the first time ^^"^ 
is certain to be* deprived of part of his sleep; and 
many never drink it without that excitation, though 
in general it is modified by use. 

Voltaire and Buffon drank a deal of coffee, to 
which habit some would ascribe the wonderful clear- 
ness in everything the former wrote, as well as the 
harmony and warmth which pervade the style of 
the latter ; several of whose pages on man, on the 
dog, the tiger, the lion, and the horse, were evidently 
written in a state of unusual cerebral excitement. 

Sleeplessness caused by coffee is not painfuL 
One has the mental perception very clear, and there 
is no desire for sleep ; that is all. There is not the 
agitated, unhappy feeling which proceeds from other 


forms of sleeplessness, yet the artificial excitement 
may in the long run become very hurtful. A man 
of good constitution can drink two bottles of wine 
a-day throughout a long lifetime ; but he would not 
stand the same quantity of coffee so long. He 
would become an idiot, or die of consumption. 

In Leicester Square, London, I have seen a man 
whom the immoderate use of coffee had reduced to 
the state of a helpless cripple. He no longer 
suffered any pain, but had become accustomed to 
the state, and limited himself to five or six glasses 

I am one of those who have been obliged to give 
up using coffee, and shall finish 'this section by 
giving an incident from my personal experience. 

One day the Duke of Massa, then a Minister of 
State, assigned me a duty for next morning ; and, as 
I wished to bestow pains upon it, I made up my 
mind to do without sleep, and therefore drank after 
dinner two large cups of the strongest coffee. On 
returning home at seven o'clock, instead of the 
papers necessary for preparation, I found a letter to 
say that, owing to some oflSicial formality, I could 
not receive them before next day. After a game at 
cards, I went to bed at my ordinary hour, not with- 
out inquietude, but thinking I should at least have 
four or five hours' sleep to help me through the 


night. I was quite wrong, however; and after 
being two hours in bed, I only felt more wide-awake. 
I was in a state of lively mental agitation, pictur- 
ing to myself my brain as a mill, with all the wheels 
going and nothing to grind. To utilize this dis- 
position, I set myself to make a poetical version of 
a story I had recently read in an English book, but 
sleep came no nearer; then I undertook a second, 
and after composing a dozen lines, gave up the 
attempt. In short, I spent the night without sleep- 
ing or even feeling sleepy; and getting up next 
morning spent the whole day without any change 
of feeling. On going to bed the second day I 
calculated that I had been for forty hours without 
shutting my eyes. 

The cacao, or chocolate tree, is indigenous to South 
America, being found both in the islands on choco- 
and on the continent ; and it is to its bean, ^**®' 
when ground and mixed, with sugar, and flavoured 
with cinnamon or vanilla, etc., that the name choco- 
late is given. 

With some of the Spanish ladies in the New 
World, the liking for chocolate has become quite a 
passion, and they even have it brought to church. 
Introduced into Spain during the seventeenth cen- 
tury, it crossed the Pyrenees with Anne of Austria, 
daughter of Philip IL and wife of Louis XUL; 


and at the commencement of the Regency was more 
in vogue than c5ffee. 

Linnseus, as is well known, named the tree " Theo- 
broma," or divine food — an emphatic qualification 
which some attribute to his excessive fondness for 
chocolate, others to his desire to please his father- 
confessor, who, like many of the clergy then, used it 
habitually, and others, again, to his gallantry^ 
because a queen was the first to introduce it. 

Time and experience, those two great masters. 
Qualities ^^^ proved that, when properly prepared, 
ofohooo- chocolate is wholesome, nourishing, and 
easily digested ; and also that it is most 
suitable for those who have much brain work — for 
clergymen, lawyers, and, above all, for travellers. 

After eating a good and hearty breakfast, if you 
swallow a large cup of good chocolate, all will be 
perfectly digested in three hours, and still leave 
a good appetite for dinner. In my zeal for science, 
and by dint of eloquence, I have had this tested by 
a good many ladies, who, after declaring it would 
be the death of them, found themselves all the 
better fbr it, an^ gave me the full praise due to 
gastronomic skill. 

I should here speak of chocolate a Vawhre and its 
properties, which I take pride in bringing before 
my readers, because they are fruit of many experr- 


Let, then, every man who has drunk too deeply 
from the cup of pleasure, every man who has 
devoted to work a considerable part of the time due 
to sleep, every man of wit who feels that he has 
tempor6u:ily become stupid, every man who finds 
the air damp, the weather unendurable, or time 
hanging heavy on his hands, every man tormented 
with some fixed idea which deprives him of the 
liberty of thinking — ^let all such people, we say, pre- 
scribe to themselves a good pint of chocolate mixed 
with amber in the proportion of from sixty to 
seventy grains to the pound, and they will see 

" Sir," said the Abbess Madame d'Arestrel to me 
more than fifty years ago, " when you would have 
good chocolate, get it made overnight in an 
earthenware coffee-pot, and leave it in it. By rest- 
ing through the night it becomes concentrated, and 
acquires a softness which greatly improves it. Le 
ben Dieu cannot be offended at this nicety, for he 
himself is all perfection.** 




It was a fine day in the month of May. The 
smoky roofs of the Capital of Pleasure were bathed 
in pleasant sunshine, and the streets, for a wonder, 
showed neither mud nor dust. The heavy stage- 
coaches had for some time ceased to shake the 
streets, and the huge waggons were at rest. Only 
open carriages were to be seen, full of fair ladies, 
native or foreign, shaded under pretty hats, and 
casting haugtty or coquettish looks upon the men 
who passed, according as they were pitiful or hand- 
some fellows. 

In other words, it was about three in the after- 
noon, when the professor sat down in his reflecting- 
chair, with one leg resting vertically on the floor, 
and the other stretched diagonally across it, his 
back comfortably supported, and his hands resting 
on the lions* heads which terminate the arms of that 
venerable piece of furniture. His high forehead 
showed a love of serious study, and his mouth a 
taste for agreeable recreation ; while his thoughtful 
air and attitude at once suggested experience and 


When thus established, the professor sent for his 
head cook, and immediately that servitor appeared, 
ready to receive advice, lesson, or command. 

** Well, Master La Planche ! " said the professor, 
with that serious tone which thrills his hearers; "all 
who dine at my table declare that none beat you for 
soups, but I am sorry to see that in frying your 
results are not so trustworthy. Yesterday, for 
instance, I heard you groan when that superb sole 
was served up pale, flabby, and discoloured. My 
friend B. cast at you a glance of disapproval, Mr. 
H. turned his gnomonic nose to the west, and 
President S. deplored the failure as a public 

" This misfortune has befallen you through your 
neglect of principles of which you do not feel the 
full importance. Being somewhat self-willed, it has 
been difiicult to make you understand that every 
phenomenon of your laboratory is in accordance 
with the eternal laws of nature, and that certain 
things which you do without reflection, merely 
because you have seen them done by others, can 
be traced nevertheless to the highest abstractions 
of science. 

"Listen, then, attentively, and learn, so that 
you may not have again to blush at your work- 


"The liquids which you expose to the action 
Capacity ^^ ^^^ become charged with different 
of heat. amounts of heat, in virtue of some pro- 
perty impressed upon them by nature, the secret of 
which is yet reserved from ua. Thus, you might 
with impunity dip your finger in spirits of wine 
when boiling, but you would draw it out quick 
enough from brandy, and quicker still if it were 
water, while even a hasty immersion in boiling oil 
would hurt you cruelly — the capacity of oil for 
heat being at least three times that of water. 

" Hence it is that an alimentary substance in boil- 
ing water softens, becomes dissolved, and forms a 
soup; and in oil, it contracts, assumes a darker 
colour, and at last lias its surface carbonized. In 
the former case, the water dissolves and draws out 
the juices contained by the sapid substance; in the 
latter, the juices are preserved, because the oil can- 
not dissolve them. It is to the second process 
boiling in oil or fat, that the term *to fry' i& 
properly applied. 

" The beauty of a good fry is in carbonizing or 
browning the surface by sudden immersion — the 
process known as the ' surprise.' It forms a sort of 
vault to enclose all that is valuable, prevents the 
fat from reaching it, and concentrates the juices, so- 
as best to develop the alimentary qualities. 


**I say nothing about choosing oils, or fat, be- 
cause the cooking-books give sufiScient information 
on that head. Don't forget, however, when you 
have any of those trout, weighing scarcely more 
than a quarter of a pound, and fetched from streams 
that murmur far from the capital — don't forget, I say, 
to fry them in the very finest olive-oil you have. 
This simple dish, properly served up with slices of 
lemon, is worthy of a cardinal.* 

"In exactly the same way you should treat 
smelts, of which adepts think so much. The smelt 
is amongst the fish what the fig-pecker is amongst 
the birds : the same in size, the same in flavour, the 
same in excellence. 

" You have taken charge of my lower regions, and 
you had the glory of first presenting to an astonished 
universe a huge turbot fried. That day there was 
amongst the elect a great jubilation. 

"Go then, and bestow pains upon your duties, 
never forgetting that from the moment the guests 
step over my threshold, it is we who are responsible 
for their happiness." 

* * One day M. Aulissin, a Neapolitan lawyer, dining with me, 
exclaimed, as he ate of something that was quite to his taste, 
" Questo e un vero hoccone di cardinals 1 *' " For a cardinal ! " I ro- 
pUed ; " why don't you say for a king, as we do? " " My dear sir," 
answered the gastronome, *' we Italians think that kings cannot 
appreciate good living, because their repasts are too hurried and 
formal; but the cardinals — eh I" with a peculiar chuckle, "ho! 



We belieye that the seat of the feeling of thirst is 
the digestive system generally. When one is thirsty 
— as we have often been when hunting — there is a 
well-defined feeling throughout aU the absorbing 
parts of the mouth, throat, and stomach. 

So keen is the sensation of thirst, that, in nearly 
every language, the word is used to express an 
excessive longing or eager desire ; thus, we have a 
thirst for power, wealth, vengeance, etc. 

Thirst kills much more quickly than hunger. 
We have examples of men who have survived for 
eight days without eating, because they had water, 
whilst those who are absolutely deprived of anything 
to drink never pass the fifth day. The difference is 
explained by the fstct, that the latter die simply of 
exhaustion and weakness, whilst the former are 
seized by a fever, which burns them up, and keeps 
increasing in malignancy. 

Sometimes thirst causes death in even a shorter 
time. In 1787, there was an instance of this in the 
death of one of the Swiss bodyguard of Louis XVL, 
caused by remaining only twenty-four hours without 


drinking. He had been drinking with some com* 
panions^ and because one of them blamed him for 
filling his glass oftener than the others, saying he 
could not do without drinking for even the shortest 
time, he laid a wager of ten bottles of wine that he 
would remain twenty-four hours without drinking. 
He kept his word ; the night he passed without diffi- 
culty, but at daybreak he found it rather hard to do 
without his customary dram, and throughout the 
forenoon he was restless and uneasy, going and 
coming, rising up and sitting down, in a purposeless 
fashion, mth the air of not knowing what to do. 
About one o'clock he went to bed, thinking he 
would be more at his ease ; he felt in pain, and was 
really ill, but it was in vain for those about him to 
ask him to drink something — he declared he should 
manage all right till the evening. Besides a desire 
to win the wager, there was no doubt some soldierly 
pride which prevented him from giving way to 
pain. He kept up in this way till seven o'clock, 
but at half-past he became worse, turned himself to 
die, and breathed his last without being able to 
taste a glass of wine which was offered him. 

All these details were told me the same evening 
by their bandmaster, Herr Schneider, at whose house 
I lived when in Versailles. 

Bodily exertion increases thirst ; hence, when a 


proprietor employs workmen, he provides a supply 
Causes of of Something stronger than water — the 
thirst. proverb being, " The wine that fetches the 
best price, is that which is given to the labourers." 
Dancing increases thirst; hence the number of 
strengthening or refreshing drinks which always 
accompany balls and hops. Public speaking in- 
creases thirst; hence the glass of water which 
lecturers study to drink with grace, and which we 
shall soon see on the edge of the pulpit. Singing 
increases thirst; hence the universal reputation 
which musicians have of being indefatigable drinkers. 
A musician myself, I rise to oppose this prejudiced 
statement, as being devoid both of wit and truth. 

Another active cause of thirst is the exposure to 
a rapid current of air ; a fact which I shall illustrate 
by the following incident. 

One day, when about to commence quail-shooting 
with some friends on a hill near Nantua, a north 
wind sprang up, and before we had been a quarter 
of an hour afield, every one of us was thirsty, and 
after a consultation it was decided that we should 
have something to drink every quarter of an hour. 
Our thirst, however, was invincible; neither wine, 
nor brandy, nor wine mixed with water, nor water 
mixed with brandy, was of the slightest use. We 
were thirsty even when drinking, and felt uncom- 


fortable throughout the whole day ; whereas, on the 
following day, the wind having fallen during the 
night, we hunted a great part of the day without 
being inconvenienced by the thirst, though the 
sun's heat was quite as strong, or even stronger. 

But that was not the worst of it; our flasks, 
though well and prudently filled on leaving home, 
had been so often laid under requisition the first 
day, that now they were as useless as bodies without 
souls, and we had to fall back upon what the country 
inns afforded. There was no help for it, yet we 
groaned ; and it was with no gentle anathema that I 
apostrophized the parching wind when I saw that 
regal dish, epinards a la graisse de cailleSy about to 
be washed down with a wine almost as poor as 

* * Snrgne, a pleasant village on the Seine, to the west of Paris, 
famous for its poor wine. The saying is that it needs three men 
to drink a glass of Surene wine, one to swallow, and two assistants, 
to keep him up and prevent him from losing heart.* 

Our author has himself already spoken of it proverbially, in the 
fiecond chapter, as being the greatest possible contrast to Cham- 

It was a joke of Henzy IV. to talk of his good wine of Sui'Sno. 




Undeb the term ** drink " must be eompieliended 
all liquids which are used with the yarious kinds of 
food. Water is the only drink which really 
quenches thirst, and therefore can only be drunk in 
small quantities. Most of the other beverages are 
nothing but palliatives, and if man had kept to 
water, it would never have been said of him that 
one of his privileges was to drink without being 

Whatever is drunk is absorbed with extreme 
facility by the animal economy ; it is prompt in its 
effects, and almost instantaneous in the relief it 
affords. Let an exhausted man have the most sub- 
stantial food put before him, he cannot eat without 
diflSculty, and will at first feel no great benefit. 
But give him a glass of wine or brandy, and the 
same instant he feels better and seems quite a new 

I can support this theory by a rather remarkable 
instance told me by my nephew, Colonel Guigard^ 
who was not much of a story-teller, and whose 
veracity I can vouch for. When returning from 


the siege of Jaffa at the head of his detachment^ at 
the distance of about a quarter of a mile from the 
watering-place where they were to halt, they began 
to find, by the roadside, the bodies of several 
soldiers who had preceded them by a day's march, 
and were killed by the heat. Amongst these 
victims of that burning climate was a carabineer 
well known to nearly all the detachment. He must 
have been dead more than twenty-four hours, and 
from the sun beating on his face for a whole day, 
it was as black as a crow. Some of the soldiers 
gathering about him, either to take a last look or 
to act as his heirs (if there was anything), were 
astonished that his limbs were not stiffened, and 
there was still some warmth over his heart. 

"Give him a drop of the real stuff!" cried a 
rough fellow amongst the bystanders. " If he's not 
far gone into the other world, I'll guarantee he'll 
come back to taste that — the taste of it will bring 
him back I " 

In fact, at the first thimbleful of spirit, the dead 
man opened his eyes. With exclamations of sur- 
prise they rubbed his temples and poured another 
dram down his throat, and in a quarter ef an hour 
he was able, with some assistance, to sit on the back 
of an ass. After being in this way brought to the 
watering-place, they watched him during the night 


and fed him with precaution, at first giving him 
some dates to eat ; and next day, having remounted 
his ass, he reached Cairo along with the other 

It is very remarkable, how men are led to the 
Strong discovery of strong drinks by a kind of 
^^'"^' instinct, which is as general as it is im- 
perious. Wine, the chie^ favourite, whether we owe 
it to Noah, who planted the vine, or to Bacchus, who 
squeezed out the juice of the grape, takes its date 
from the infancy of the world ; and beer, attributed 
to Osiris, goes back to the very dawn of history. 

All men, even those whom we agree to call 
savages, have been so tormented with that desire 
for strong drinks, that, however limited their know- 
ledge, they have succeeded in finding some. They 
have soured the milk of their domestic animals ; 
they have extracted the juice of different fruits, 
roots — whatever they may have imagined to contain 
a fermentative principle. Wherever we find men 
together, we also find they are provided with strong 
liquors, which they make use of at their banquets, 
their religious ceremonies, their marriages, their 
funerals — ^in short, on every festive or solemn 

For many centuries was wine drunk and sung 
without any thought of extracting from it the 


spirituous part in which the strength lies; but 
having learned the art of distillation from the 
Arabians, who had invented it to extract the 
perfume of flowers — especially of the rose, so cele- 
brated in their writings — some began to think it 
possible that the cause of the high quality, peculiar 
flavour, or specially stimulating property of wine 
might be discovered, and, by tentatively groping 
and feeling their way, they discovered alcohol, 
spirits-of-wine, brandy. 

The knowledge of how to extract alcohol has, more- 
over, led to other important results; for similar 
methods have discovered some substances previously 
imknown, such as quinine, morphine, strychnine, 
and others o£ the same sort. 

In any case, this thirst for a liquid which Nature 
had wrapped up in mystery — an extraordinary 
desire, influencing all races of men, under all 
climates and in all latitudes — well deserves to fix 
the attention of the philosophic observer. 

I, too, have given thought to the subject, and 
feel tempted to put the desire for fermented liquors 
in the same category with the anxiety about a 
future state — both being unknown to the lower 
animals^ — and to regard them as the two distinctive 
attributes of man — ^the masterpiece of the last 
cosmical revolution. 



I SAID, ^the last oosmical reyolntion" — ^an idea 
which has awakened in my mind a train of thought 
leading far away from my subject. 

There are unassailable proo& that onr globe has 
already undergone several absolute changes, and 
these have been so many "ends of the world.** 
Some instinct warns us that there are others to 

Already, men have often believed that such a 
revolution was on the eve of taking -place ; and I 
know a good many people who were sent to their 
knees by Jerome Lalande's prediction of a watery 

Most writers seem disposed to surround such a 
catastrophe with judgments of vengeance, destroy- 
ing angels, trumpets, and similar dread accessories. 
But, alasl there is no need of such a hubbub for 
our destruction ; we are not worth so much pomp, 
and the whole face of the globe can be changed 
without any such solemnity or preparation. Thus, 
should a comet, by approaching the sun, become 
charged with a superabundance of heat, and then 


come near enough to the earth to produce 167° 
Fahrenheit for six months; then, by the end of 
that deadly summer, every living or growing thing 
would hav0 perished — all sounds would have ceased. 
The earth would roll in silence till new circum- 
stances should have developed new germs of life ; 
whilst, in the mean time, the cause of the disaster 
would remain lost in the vast wastes of space, and 
be separated from our world by many millions of 

It is interesting to let the imagination follow 
such heat as it increases in intensity, and antici- 
pate its development, action, and effects. Then 
such questions naturally occur: — Quid during the 
first day, the second, and so on to the last ? — Quid 
about air, earth and water, the formation, com- 
bination, and explosion of gases 'i—Quid about man- 
kind, considered with regard to age or sex, strong or 
weak? — Quid about the observance of laws, sub- 
mission to authority, respect of persons and property ? 
— Qvjid about the means sought, or attempts made, 
to escape the danger ? — Quid as to the ties of love, 
friendship or kindred, and as to selfishness or self- 
sacrifice? — Quid as to religious sentiment, faith, 
resignation, hope, and so on ? 

History can supply us data as to moral 
influences in such a case ; for the end of the world 


has already been several times predicted, a par- 
ticular day even being sometimes specified. 

Great danger severs all ties. In the great 
yellow fever which took place in Philadelphia, 
about the year 1792, husbands were seen shutting 
on their wives the doors* of their marriage homes ; 
children were seen abandoning their fathers, and 
many other things equally strange — 

Quod a nobis Bern avetioL 



I HAVE consulted the dictionaries under the word 
" gourmandise," and am by no means satisfied with 
what I find. The love of good living seems to be 
constantly confounded with gluttony and voracity : 
whence I infer that our lexicographers, however 
otherwise estimable, are not to be classed with those 
good fellows amongst learned men who can put 
away gracefully a wing of partridge and then, by 
raising the little finger, wash it down with a glass 
of Lafitte or Clos-Vougeot. 

They have utterly forgot that social love of good 
eating which combines in one Athenian elegance^ 


Roman luxury, and Parisian refinement. It implies 
discretion to arrange, skill to prepare: it appreci- 
ates ei^ergetically, and judges profoundly. It is 
a precious quality, almost deserving to rank as a 
virtue, and is very certainly the source of much 
unqualified enjoyment. > 

" Gourmandise," or the love of good living, is an 
impassioned, rational, and habitual pre- Defini- 
ference for whatever flatters the sense of ^^^'^ 
taste. It is opposed to excess ; therefore every man 
who eats to indigestion, or makes himself drunk, 
runs the risk of being erased from the list of its 

Gourmandise also comprises a love for dainties 
or tit-bits, which is merely an analogous preference, 
limited to light, delicate or small dishes, to pastry, 
and so forth. It is a modification allowed in favour 
of the women, or men of feminine tastes. 

Regarded from any point of view, the love of 
good living deserves nothing biit praise and en- 
couragement. Physically, it is the result and 
proof of the digestive organs being healthy and 
perfect. Morally, it shows implicit resignation to 
the commands of Nature, who, in ordering man to 
eat that he may live, gives him appetite to invite, 
flavour to encourage, and pleasure to reward. 

From the political economist's point of view, the 


love of good liying is a tie between nations, uniting 
Ito good them by the interchange of yaiions articles 
diecU. ^f £^ which aie in constant nse. Hence 
the Toyage from Pole to Pole of wines, sugars, 
fruits, and so forth. What else sustains the hope 
and emulation of that crowd of fishermen, huntsmen, 
gardeners and others, who daily stock the most 
sumptuous larders with the results of their skill 
and labour? What else supports the industrious 
army of cooks, pastry cooks, confectioners, and many 
other food-preparers, with all their various assist- 
ants? These yarious branches of industry derive 
their support, in a great measure, from the largest 
incomes, but they also rely upon the daily wants 
of all classes. 

As society is at present constituted, it is almost 
impossible to conceive of a race living solely on 
bread and vegetables. Such a nation would in- 
fallibly be conquered by the armies of some flesh- 
eating race (like the Hindoos, who have been the 
prey of all those, one after another, who cared to 
attack them) ; or else it would be converted by the 
cooking of the neighbouring nations, as ancient 
history records of the Boeotians, who acquired a 
love for good living after the battle of Leuctra. 

Gk)od living opens out great resources for re- 
plenishing the public purse ; it brings contributions 


to town-dues, to the custom-house, and other indirect 
contributions. Everything we eat is taxed, and 
there is no exchequer that is not substantially sup- 
ported by lovers of good living. 

Shall we speak of that swarm of cooks who have 
for ages been annually leaving France, to improve 
foreign nations in the art of good living ? Most of 
them succeed; and, in obedience to an instinct 
which never dies in a Frenchman's heart, bring 
back to their country the fruits of their economy. 
The sum thus imported is greater than might be 
supposed, and therefore they, like the others, will 
be honoured by posterity. 

But if nations were grateful, then Frenchmen, 
above all races, ought to raise a temple and altars 
to " Gourmandise." 

By the treaty of November, 1815, the allies im- 
posed upon France the condition of paying its great 
thirty millions sterling in three years, i^^®°c®« 
besides claims for compensation and various requisi- 
tions, amounting to nearly as much more. The 
apprehension, or rather, certainty, became general 
that a national bankruptcy must ensue, more 
especially as the money was to be paid in specie. 

"Alas!" said all who had anything to lose, as 
they saw the fatal tumbril pass to be filled in the 
Kue Vivienne, " there is cur money emigrating in a 


lump ; next year we sliall £Edl on onr knees before a 
crown-piece ; we are abont to Ml into the condition 
of a rained man ; speculations of eyery kind will 
fail : it will be impossible to borrow ; there will be 
nothing but weakness, exhaustion, civil death." 

These terrors were proved false by the result; 
and to the great astonishment of all engaged in 
financial matters, the payments were made without 
diflSculty, credit rose, loans were eagerly caught 
at, and during all the time this " superpurgation ** 
lasted, the balance of exchange was in favour of 
France. In other words, more money came into the 
Country than went out of it. 

What is the power that came to our assistance ? 
Who is the divinity that worked this miracle ? The 
love of good living. 

When the Britons, Germans, Teutons, Cimmerians, 
and Scythians made their irruption into France, 
they brought a rare voracity, and stomachs of no 
ordinary capacity. They did not long remain satis- 
fied with the ofiicial cheer which a forced hospitality 
had to supply them with. They aspired to enjoy- 
ments of greater refluement; and soon the Queen 
City was nothing but a huge refectory. Every- 
where they were seen eating, those intruders — in the 
restaurants, the eating-houses, the inns, the taverns, 
the stalls, and even in the streets. They gorged 


ttemselves with flesh, fish, game, truffles, pastry^ 
and especially with fruit. They drank with an 
ayidity equal to their appetite, and always ordered 
the most expensive wines, in the hope of finding 
some enjoyment in them hitherto unknown, and 
seemed quite astonished when they were dis- 

Superficial observers did not know what to think 
of this menagerie without bounds or limits; but 
your genuine Parisian laughed and rubbed his 
hands. " We have them now ! " said he ; ** and to- 
night they'll have paid us back more than was 
counted out to them this morning from the public 
treasury ! " 

That was a lucky time for those who provide for 
the enjoyments of the sense of taste. Very made 
his fortune; Achard laid the foundation of his; 
Beauvilliers made a third; .and Madame SuUot, 
whose shop in the Palais Koyal was a mere box 
of a place^ sold as many as twelve thousand tarts 
a day. 

The efiect still lasts. Foreigners flow in from 
all quarters of Europe to renew during peace the 
delightful habits which they contracted during the 
war. They must come to Paris, and when they are 
there, they must be regaled at any price. If our 
funds are in favour^ it is due not so much to tho 


higher interest they pay, as to the instinctiye con- 
fidence which foreigners cannot help placing in a 
people amongst whom every loyer of good living 
finds so much happiness. 

Love of good living is by no means unbecoming 
in women. It agrees with the delicacy of their 
organization, and serves as a compensation for some 
pleasures which they are obliged to abstain from, 
and for some hardships to which nature seems to 
have condemned them. 

There is no more pleasant sight than a pretty 
. ., gourmande under arms. Her napkin is 
gour- nicely adjusted; one of her hands rests 
on the table, the other carries to her 
mouth little morsels artistically carved, or the wing 
of a partridge which must be picked. Her eyes 
sparkle, her lips are glossy, her talk cheerful, all 
her movements graceful ; nor is there lacking some 
spice of the coquetry which accompanies all that 
women do. With so many advantages, she is irre- 
sistible, and Cato the censor himself could not help 
yielding to the influenca 

The love of good living is in some sort instinctive 

Women ^ women, because it is favourable to 

like good beauty. It has been proved, by a series 

of rigorously exact observations, that by 

a succulent, delicate, and choice regimen, the ex- 


temal appearances of age are kept away for a long 
time. It gives more brilliancy to the eye, more 
freshness to the skin, more support to the muscles ; 
and, as it is certain in physiology that wrinkles, 
those formidable enemies of beauty, are caused by 
the depression of muscle, it is equally true that, 
other things being equal, those who understand 
eating are comparatively four years younger than 
those ignorant of that science. 

Painters and sculptors are deeply penetrated with 
this truth, for in representing those who practise 
abstinence by choice or duty, such as misers or 
anchorites, they always give them the pallor of 
disease, the leanness of misery, and the wrinkles of 

Good living is one of the main links of society,, 
by gradually extending that spirit of con- „^ . 
viviality by which different classes are uponsoci- 
daily brought closer together and welded * ^ ^' 
into one whole, by animating the conversation, and 
rounding off the angles of conventional inequality. 

To the same cause we can also ascribe all the 
efforts a host makes to receive his guests properly, 
as well as their gratitude for his pains so well 
bestowed. What disgrace should ever be heaped 
upon those senseless feeders who, with unpardonable 
indifference, swallow down morsels of the rarest 



quality, or gulp with unrighteous caxelessness some 
fine-flavoured and sparkling wine. 

As a general maxim : Whoever shows a desire to 
please will be certain of having a delicate compli- 
ment paid him by every well-bred man. 

Again, when shared, the love of good living has 

the most marked influence on the happi- 
Effecta . 

on con- ^ess of the conjugal state. A wedded 

jugal pj^ij.^ ^j^j^ ^jjjg iq;qIq in common, have once 


a day, at least, a pleasant opportunity of 
meeting. For, even when they sleep apart (and a 
great many do so), they eat at least at the same 
table, they have a subject of conversation which is 
ever new, they speak not only of what they are 
eating, but also of what they have eaten or will eat, 
of dishes which are in vogue, of novelties, etc 
Everybody knows that a familiar chat is delightful. 
Music, no doubt, has powerful attractions for 
those who are fond of it, but one must set about it 
— it is an exertion. Besides, one sometimes has a 
cold, the music is mislaid, the instruments are out 
of tune, one has a fit of the blues, or it is a for- 
bidden day. Whereas, in the other case, a common 
want summons the spouses to table, the same 
inclination keeps them there ; they naturally show 
each other these little attentions as a proof of their 
wish to oblige, and the mode of conducting their 


meals has a great share in the happiness of their 

This observation, though new in France, has not 
escaped the notice of Eichardson,* the English 
moralist. He has worked out the idea in his novel, 
FameUiyhY painting the different manner in which two 
m'arried couples finish their day. The first husband 
is a lord, an eldest son, and therefore heir to all the 
family property : the second is his younger brother, 
the husband of Pamela, who has been disinherited 
on account of his marriage, and lives on half-pay 
in a state but little removed from abject poverty. 

The lord and lady enter their dining-room by 
different doors, and salute each, other coldly, though 
they have not met the whole day before. Sitting 
down at a table which is magnificently covered, 
surrounded by lackeys in brilliant liveries, they 
help themselves in silence, and eat without pleasure. 
As soon, however, as the servants have withdrawn, 
a sort of conversation is begun between the pair, 
which quickly shows a bitter tone, passing into a 
regular fight, and they rise from the table in a fury 

* Savarin wrote Fielding's name here, and it is stiU retained 
in aU the editions I have seen. This is the more remarkable 
because Eichardson has always been especially esteemed in France, 
and is still sometimes placed above Goldsmith as an English 
classic. What horror if the worthy but self-conscious shopkeeper 
knew that his godless rival had so long usurped the credit of 
having written Parnela J 


of anger, and go off to their separate apartments 
to reflect upon the pleasnres of a single life. 

The younger brother, on the contrary, is, on 
reaching his unpretentious home, receiyed with a 
gentle, loving heartiness and the fondest caresses. 
He sits down to a frugal meal, but eyerything he 
eats is excellent; and how could it be otherwise ? 
It is Pamela herself who has prepared it all. 
They eat with enjoyment, talking of their affairs, 
their plans, their love for each other. A half bottle 
of Madeira serves to prolong their repast and con- 
versation, and soon after they retire together, to 
forget in sleep their present hardships, and to 
dream of a better future. 

All honour to the love of good living, such as it 
is the purpose of this book to describe, so long as it 
does not come between men and their occupations 
or duties I For, as all the debaucheries of a 
Sardanapalus cannot bring disrespect upon woman- 
kind in general, so the excesses of a Vitellius need 
not make us turn our backs upon a well-appointed 

Should the love of good living pass into gluttony, 
voracity, intemperance, it then loses its name and 
advantages, escapes from our jurisdiction, and falls 
within that of the moralist to ply it with good 
counsel, or of the physician, who will cure it by his 

( ii3 ) 


Theee are individuals to whom nature has denied a 
refinement of organs, or a continuity of attention, 
without which the most succulent dishes pass un- 
observed. Physiology has already recognized the 
first of these varieties, by showing us the tongue of 
these unhappy ones, badly furnished with nerves 
for inhaling and appreciating flavours. These excite 
in them but an obtuse sentiment ; such persons are, 
with regard to objects of taste, what the blind are 
with regard to light. The second class are the 
absent-minded, chatterboxes, persons engrossed in 
business or ambition, and others who seek to 
occupy themselves with two things at once, and 
eat only to be filled. , 

Such, for example, was Napoleon ; he was irre- 

frvlej: in his meals, and ate fast and badly. 

^ . ^ , -^ Example. 

But there, again, was to be traced that 
absolute will which he carried into everything he 
did. The moment appetite' was felt it was necessary 
that it should be satisfied, and his establishment 
was so arranged that, in any place and at any hour, 


chicken, catletSy and coffee might be forthcoming at 
a word.* 

Fredesti- Theie 18 a priyileged class of persons 
2^f who are summoned to the enjoyments of 
ofgood taste by a physical and organic predis- 

^ position. 

I have always believed in physiognomy and 
phrenology. Men have inborn tendencies ; and since 
there are some who come into the world seeing, 
hearing, and walking badly, because they are 
short-sighted, deaf^ or cripple, why should there 
not be others who are specially predisposed to ex- 
perience a certain series of sensations ? Moreover, 
even an ordinary observer will constantly discover 
faces which bear the unmistakeable imprint of a 
ruling passion — such as superciliousness, seK-satis- 
faction, misanthropy, sensuality, and many others. 
Sometimes, no doubt, we meet with a face that 
expresses nothing ; but when the physiognomy has 
a marked stamp it is almost always a true index. 

The passions act upon the muscles, and frequently, 
although a man says nothing, the various feelings 

* French writers frequently refer to the eating habits of 
Kapoleon. Thus, the drawn battle of Borodino (preceding the 
Moscow disaster), and his great defeat at Leipsic, are both ex- 
plained to have been partly due to attacks of indigestion, the 
special cause in the latter instance being, it is said, a hurried feed 
upon shoulder of mutton stuffed with onions. 


by which he is moved can be read in his face. 
By this tension, if in the slightest degree habitual, 
perceptible traces are at last left, and the physio- 
gnomy thus assumes its permanent and re'cognizable 

Those predisposed to epicurism are for the 
most part of middling height. They are 
broad-faced, and have bright eyes, small naturaUy 
forehead, short nose, fleshy lips, and P^^edis- 


rounded chin. The women are plump, 
chubby, pretty rather than beautiful, with a slight 
tendency to fulness of figure. 

li is under such an exterior that we must look for 
agreeable guests. They accept all that is offered 
them, eat without hurry, and taste with discrimin- 
ation. They never make any haste to get away 
from houses where they have been well treated, but 
stay for the evening, because they know all the 
games and other after-dinner amusements. 

Those, on the contrary, to whom nature has 
denied an aptitude for the enjoyments of taste, are 
long-faced, long-nosed, and long-eyed: whatever 
their stature, they have something lanky about 
them. They have dark, lanky hair, and are never 
in good condition. It was" one of them who in- 
vented trousers. 

The women whom nature has afflicted with the 


same misfortune are angular, feel themselves bored 
at table, and live on cards and scandal. 

This theory of mine can be verified by each 
Actual reader from his own personal observation, 
instanoe. j g^all give an instance from my own 

Sitting one day at a grand banqnet, I had oppo- 
site me a very pretty neighbour, whose fiice showed 
the predisposition I have described. Leaning to 
the guest beside me, I said quietly that, from 
her physiognomy, the young lady on the other side 
of the table must be fond of good eating. "You 
must be mad ! " he answered ; " she is but fifteen, at 
most, which is certainly not the age for such a 
thing. However, let tis watch." 

At first, things were by no means in my favouE, 
and I was somewhat afraid of having compromised 
myself, for during the first two courses, the young 
lady quite astonished me by her discretion, and I 
suspected we had stumbled upon' an exception, 
remembering that there are some for every rule. 
But at last the dessert came — ^a dessert both magni- 
ficent and abundant — and my hopes were again 
revived. Nor did I hope in vain : not only did she 
eat of all that was offered her, but she even got 
dishes brought to her from the furthest parts of the 
table. In a word, she tasted everything, and my 


neiglibour at last expressed his astonishment that 
the little stomach could hold so many things. Thus 
was my diagnosis verified, and once again science 

Whilst I was writing the above, on a fine winter's 
evening, M. Cartier, formerly the first violinist iat 
the Opera, paid me a visit, and sat down at the fire- 
side. Being full of my subject, I said, after looking 
at him attentively for some time, "How does it 
happen, my dear professor, that you are no epicure, 
when you have all the features of one ? " "I was 
one," he replied, " and among the foremost ; but now 
I refrain." " On principle, I suppose ? " said I ; but 
all the answer I had was a sigh, like one of Sir 
Walter Scott's — ^that is to say, almost a groan. 

As some are gourmands by predestination, so 
others become so by their state in so- Who are 
ciety or their calling. There are four ^^^ 
classes which I should signalize by way of from their 
eminence : the moneyed class, the doctors, ^^ ^^^ 
men of letters, and the devout. fession. 

Inequality of condition implies inequality of 
wealth, but inequality of wealth does not imply in- 
equality of wants ; and he who can afford every day 
a dinner sufficient for a hundred persons, is often 
satisfied by eating the thigh of a chicken. Hence 
the necessity for the many devices of art to reani- 


mate that ghost of an appetite by dishes which 
maintain it without injury, and caress without 
stifling it. 

The causes which act upon doctors are very dif- 
ferent, though not less powerful. They become epi- 
cures in spite of themselves, and must be made of 
bronze to resist the seductive power of circumstances. 

The " dear doctor " is all the more kindly wel- 
comed that health is the most precious of boons ; 
and thus they are always waited for with impatience 
and received with eagerness. 

Some are kind to them from hope, others from 
gratitude. They are fed like pet pigeons. They 
let things take their course, and in six months 
the habit is confirmed, and they are gourmands 
past redemption. 

I ventured one day to express this opinion at a 
banquet in which, with eight others, I took a part, 
with Dr. Corvisart at the head of the table. It was 
about the year 1806. 

" You I " cried I, with the inspired tone of a Puri- 
tan preacher ; " you are the last remnant of a body 
which formerly covered the whole of France. Alas ! 
its members are annihilated or widely scattered. No 
more fermiers-gener^ux, no abbes, or knights, or 
white-coated friars. The members of your profession 
constitute the whole gastronomic body. Sustain 


with firmness that great responsibility, even if you 
must share the fate of the three hundred Spartans 
at the Pass of Thermopylse," 

At the same dinner I observed the following 
noteworthy fact. The doctor, who, when in the 
mood, was a most agreeable companion, drank 
nothing but iced champagne, and therefore, in the 
earlier part of the dinner, whilst others were engaged 
in eating, he kept talking loudly and telling stories. 
But at dessert, on the contrary, and when the gene- 
ral conversation began to be lively, he became 
serious, silent, and sometimes low-spirited. 

From this observation, confirmed by many others, 
I have deduced the following theorem: "Cham- 
pagne, though at first exhilarating, ultimately pro- 
duces stupefying effects;'" a result, moreover, which 
is a well-known characteristic of the carbonic acid 
which it contains. 

Whilst I have the university doctors under my 
grasp, I must, before I die, reproach them ^^^^^ 
with the extreme severity which they use to the 
towards their patients. As soon as one has 
the misfortune to fall into their hands, he must 
undergo a whole litany of prohibitions, and give up 
everything that he is accustomed to think agreeable. 

I rise up to oppose such interdictions, as being 
for the most part useless. I say useless, because 
the patient never longs for what is hurtful. 


A doctor of judgment will never lose sight of the 
instinctive tendency of onr inclinations, or forget 
that if painful sensations are natorally fraught with 
danger, those which are pleasant have a healthy 
tendency. We have seen a drop of wine, a cup of 
coffee, or a thimblefol of liqueur, call up a smile to 
the most Hippocratic fSftce.^ 

Those severe prescribers must, moreover, know 
very well that their prescriptions remain almost 
always without result. The patient tries to evade 
the duty of taking them ; those about him easily 
find a good excuse for humouring him, and thus his 
death is neither hastened nor retarded. 

In 1815, the medical allowance of a sick Bussian 
would have made a drayman drunk, and that of an 
Englishman was enough for a "Limousin." Nor 
\vas any diminution possible, for there were military 
inspectors constantly going round our hospitals to 
examine the supply and consumption. 

I am the more confident in announcing my opinion 
because it is based upon numerous facts, and the 
most successful practitioners have used a system 
closely resembling it 

Canon EoUet, who died some fifty years ago, was 

* This phrase shows a trace of Savarin's medical studies. The 
Latin form of it, faciei Eippocratica, is more recognizable — a term 
applied to the peculiar look which betokens the near approach of 
death, first accurately described by Hippocrat-es. 


a hard drinker, according to the custom of those 
days. He fell ill, and the doctor's first words were 
a prohibition of wine in any form. On his very 
next visit, however, our physician found beside the 
bed of his patient the corpus delicti itself: to wit, a 
table covered with a snow-white cloth, a crystal cup, 
a handsome-looking bottle, and a napkin to wipe the 
lips. At this sight he flew into a violent passion, 
and spoke of leaving the house, when the wretched 
canon cried to him, in tones of lamentation, " Ah, 
doctor, remember that, in forbidding me to drink, 
you have not forbidden me the pleasure of looking 
at the bottle I " 

The physician who treated Montlusin of Pont de 
Veyle was still more severe, for not only did he for- 
bid the use of wine to his patient, but also prescribed 
large doses of water. Shortly after the doctor's de- 
parture, Madame Montlusin, anxious to give full 
effect to the medical orders and assist in the 
recovery of her husband's health, offered him a 
large glass of the finest and clearest water. The 
patient took it with docility, and began to drink it 
with resignation; but stopping short at the first 
mouthful, he handed back the glass to his wife. 
"Take it, my dear," said he, "and keep it for 
another time ; I have always heard it said that we 
should not trifle with remedies." 


In the domain of gastronomy, the men of letters 
are near neighbours to the ddctors. A hundred 
Men of years ago, literary men were all hard 
letters. drinkers. They followed the fashion, and 
the memoirs of the period are quite edifying on 
that subject. At the present day they are gas- 
tronomes, and it is a step in the right direction. 

I by no means agree with the cynical Geoffroy, 
who used to say that if our modem writings are 
weak, it is because literary men now drink nothing 
stronger than lemonade. The present age is rich in 
talents, and the very number of books probably 
interferes with their proper appreciation; but pos- 
terity, being more calm and judicial, will see 
amongst them much to admire, just as we our- 
selves have done justice to the master-pieces of 
Eacine and Moliere, which were received by their 
contemporaries with coldness. 

Never has the social position of men of letters 
been more pleasant than at present. They no 
longer live in wretched garrets ; the fields of litera- 
ture are become more fertile, and even the study of 
the Muses has become productive. Eeceived on an 
equality in any rank of life, they no longer wait 
for patronage ; and to fill up their cup of happi- 
ness, good living bestows upon them its dearest 


Men of letters are invited because of the good 
opinion men have of their talents; because their 
conversation has, generally speaking, something 
piquant in it, and also because, now, every dinner 
party must, as a matter of course, have its literary 

Those gentlemen always arrive a little late, but 
are welcomed, because expected. They are treated 
as favourites, so that they may come again, and 
regaled that they may shine ; and as they find all 
this very natural, by being accustomed to it they 
become, are, and remain, gastronomes. 

Finally, amongst the most faithful in the ranks of 
gastronomy, we must reckon many of the The 
devout — i,e.y those spoken of by Louis ^^^ut. 
XIV. and Moliere, whose religion consists in out- 
ward show — nothing to do with those who are really 
pious and charitable. 

Let us consider how this coines about. Of those 
who wish to secure their salvation, the greater 
number try to find the most pleasant road. Men 
who flee from society, sleep on the ground, and wear 
hair-cloth next the skin, have always been, and 
must ever be, only exceptions. Now, there are 
certain things unquestionably to be condemned, and 
on no account to be indulged in — as balls, theatres, 
gambling, and other similar amusements; and 


whilst they, and all that practise them, are to be 
hated, good living presents itseK insinuatingly in a 
thoroughly orthodox gaise. 

By right divine, man is king of nature, and all 
that the earth produces was created for him. It is 
for him that the quail is fattened, for him that 
Mocha possesses so agreeable an aroma, for him that 
sugar has such wholesome properties. How, then, 
neglect to use, within reasonable limits, the good 
things which Providence presents to us, especially 
if we continue to regard them as things that perish 
with the using, especially if they raiafe our thank- 
fulness towards the author of alL 

Other equally strong reasons come to strengthen 
these. Can we be too hospitable in receiving those 
who have charge of our souls, and keep us in the 
way of safety? Should those meetings, with so 
excellent an object, not be made pleasant, and there- 
fore frequent ? 

Sometimes, also, the gifts of Comus arrive un- 
sought — perhaps a souvenir of college days, a 
present from an old friend, a peace-ofifering from a 
penitent, or a college-chum recalling himself to 
one's memory. How refuse to accept such offerings, 
or to make systematic use of them ? It is simply a 

The monasteries were real magazines of charming 


dainties,* which is one reason why certain connois- 
seurs so bitterly regret them. 

Several of the monastic orders^ especially that 
of St. Bernard, made a profession of good cheer. 
The limits of gastronomic art have been extended 
by the cooks of the clergy, and when M. de 
Pressigni (afterwards Archbishop of Besan5on) 
returned from the Conclave at the election of 
Pius VI., he said that the best dinner he had 
had in Bome was at the table of the head of the 

We cannot conclude this article better than by 
honourably mentioning two classes of men ^^ yaliers 
whom we have seen in all their glory, and and 
whom the Be volution has eclipsed — the 
chevaliers and the abbes. How they enjoyed good 
living, those dear old fellows ! That could be told 
at a glance by their nervous nostrils, their clear 
eyes, their moist lips and mobile tongues. Each 
class had, at the same time, its own special manner 
of eating — the chevalier having something military 

* ' The best French liqueurs were made at La Gdte by the 
Yisitandine nuns; those of Niort invented Angelica preserves; 
those of Ch&teau-Thierry are famous for their orange-flower 
cakes ; and at the Ursuline nunnery in my native town they had 
a receipt for pickled walnuts which was a treasure of enjoyment 
and toothsomeness.' ' I fear, alas ! ' adds Savarin, pathetically^ 
with reforenoe to the Bevolution and its results, * that it is now 


and dignified in his air and attitade, while the 

abbe gathered himself together, as it were, to be 

nearer his plate, with his right hand enrred inwards 

like the paw of a cat drawing chestnuts &om the 

fire, whilst in eyery feature was shown enjoyment, 

and a cert£un indefinable look of close attention* 

So far from good living being hurtful to health, 

it has been arithmetically proved by Dr. 

to the Villerme, in an able paper read before the 

gour- Academie des Sciences, that, other things 
mandi. ^ 

being equal, the gourmands live longer 

than ordinary men. Not that those who live well 

are never ill ; alas ! they, also, sometimes fall under 

the dominion of the faculty; but as they have a 

large dose of vitality, and all parts of the organism 

in better condition, nature has more resources, and 

the body has beyond comparison a better chance of 

resisting destruction. 

This fact of physiology is also supported by his- 
tory, which informs us that whenever the means of 
living are diminished by such imperious circum- 
stances as war, a siege, or a bad season, that state of 
distress has always been accompanied by contagious 
diseases and a large increase of the death-rate. 

M, du Belloy, Archbishop of Paris, who lived 
nearly a cfentury, had a remarkable appetite. He 
loved good living, and I have several times seen his 


patriarchal countenance lighten up at the arrival of 
some famous dish. He was invariably treated by 
Napoleon with marked deference and respect. 



In the preceding chapter we have seen that the 
distinctive characteristic of those who have more 
pretention than right to the honours of good living 
consists in this: that, with the best cheer in the 
world before them, their eyes remain dull and their 
faces expressionless. Such men do not deserve to 
have treasures lavished upon them of which they 
feel not the value, and we have therefore sought for 
a means of designating them, and so classifying the 
guests at any table. 

By gastronomic tests or gauges we mean dishes 
of acknowledged flavour, and of such indisputable 
excellence that the mere sight of them, to a man 
of healthy organization, moves every faculty of 
taste ; so that men whose faces, under such circum- 
stances, neither lighten up with desire nor beam 
with ecstasy, may justly be noted as unworthy the 
honours of the sitting and its concomitant pleasures. 


The testing-power of such criteria being relative, 
they must be suited to the capacities and habits of 
the different classes of society. Calculated to pro- 
voke admiration and wonder, a test is a dynamo- 
meter, whose power increases in proportion as we 
rise higher in the strata of society. Thus, a test in- 
tended for the small householder would have little 
reference to a head clerk, and not the slightest appli- 
cation to a select dinner party at a capitalist's or 

In the enumeration we are about to make of the 
dishes which have been raised to the dignity of 
tests, we shall begin with those that are of lowest 
force, and enumerate the others in order as they rise 
gradually in the scale. 

A friend has suggested the consideration of nega- 
tive . tests ; as, for example, the accident of the 
miscarriage of some rare dish,* or the non-arrival of 

* A good illustration of the negative test is an anecdote oc- 
curring in an article on gastronomy in the Quarterly Review, 
Cardinal Fosch had invited a large party of clerical magnates to 
dinner. By a fortunate coincidence, two fine turbots had arrived 
aa presents on the very morning of the feast, and the cardinal 
i?a8 anxious to have the credit of both. '* Be of good faith, your 
ominenoe,'* said the c7»e/, on being consulted, " both shall appear ; 
both shall enjoy the reception which is their due." Dinner was 
served : one of the turbots reUeved the soup, and delight was on 
every faoe. It was the moment of the positive test. The maXtre 
d*h6tel advances, two attendants raise the turbot, when one slips, 
and both men, with their precious burden, roU upon the floor. At 


an important country hamper, whether the accident 
be real or feigned ; might one not note the different 
degrees of regret or annoyance stamped upon the 
faces of the guests at such tiresome news, and so de- 
vise a good criterion of their gastronomic sensibility? 

This proposal, however, though very attractive at 
the first glance, could not stand a thorough exami- 
nation. We have seen that such an occurrence, 
though only superficially affecting the undeveloped 
organs of the ordinary outsiders, might, in the case 
of the initiated and true believers, be dangerous, 
if not positively even fatal. 

We proceed now to give the list of dishes which, 
in our opinion, are suitable to serve as gastronomic 
tests, classifying them into three series, arranged in 
an ascending scale. 

A large fillet of veal well larded with bacon, and 
done in its own gravy; a country-fed ^0^0.11 
turkey stuffed with chestnuts ; fattened income 
pigeons larded, and cooked to correspond ; y^^^ 
eggs dressed a la neige ; a dish of sauerkraut 
bristling with sausages, and crowned with a piece of 
good bacon. 

this sad sight the assembled cardinals became pale as death, and 
solemn silence reigned in the conclave. It was the moment of the 
negative test. "Bring another turbot," said the maitre d'hdtdy 
with perfect coolness. The second appeared, and the positive 
test was gloriously renewed. 



(Bemarks: "By Jove! that looks welL CSome 
on ! we must do it honour.") 

A choice fillet of beef larded, done in its own 

For an g^^ 5 * quarter of venison ; sauce, hackee 

income aux eomiehons ; a turbot boiled whole ; a 

ygg_y prime leg of mutton, d la provengale ; a 

turkey done with truffles ; early green peas. 

(Eemarks: "My dear fellow, what a delightful 
sight ! That dish is worthy of a wedding feast or a 

An enormous fowl stuffed to repletion with Peri- 
j, gord truffles ; a huge Strasbourg pate-de- 

income of foie-gros, in the shape of a bastion ; a large 
year. ^^^» richly prepared ; truffled quails with 

marrow, served on buttered toast, au basilic; 
a river pike larded, stuffed, and smothered in a 
cream of prawns, secundum artem; a pheasant in 
proper season, larded en toupef, a la sainte alliance; 
one hundred early asparagus, each haK-an-inch 
thick, with sauce a Vosniazome ; two dozen ortolans 
a la provengale; a pyramid of vanilla and rose, 
meringm-cBLke — a test sometimes useless, unless in 
the case of ladies and abbes, etc. 

(Remarks : " Ah, my dear sir (or my lord, etc.), 
what a genius that cook ofyours is! It is only 
at your table that one meets such dishes.") 

In order to be sure of any test producing its full 


effect, it must be served on an ample scale. Ex- 
perience, founded on the knowledge of the human 
race, has taught us that the rarest of savoury dishes 
loses its influence when not in exuberant proportion. 
The first impression which it excites on a guest is 
naturally checked by the dread of being stingily 
served, or being obliged even, out of politeness, to 

I have several times verified the eflEect of gas- 
tronomic tests. Thus, once I was present j^g^^^^ 
at a dinner of gastronomes of the fourth of their 
category — all being divines but my friend 
E. and myself. After a magnificent first course, 
there was brought to table, amongst other things, an 
enormous fowl, stuffed with truffles almost to burst- 
ing, and a Gibraltar of a Strasbourg pate-de-foiergras. 

This apparition produced upon the company a 
marked effect, though indescribable, somewhat 
resembling the " silent laugh " of Cooper. In fact, 
all conversation was stopped, so great was the sen- 
sation, and every guest's attention was riveted upon 
the skilful operations of the carvers ; and as soon 
as the! serving was over, the faces of all, one after 
another, were seen to beam wdth an ecstasy of 
enjoyment, the perfect repose of bliss. 




Of all the creatures that have senses, man is incon- 
testably that which undergoes the most suflTering. 
This decree of destiny has been, in its fulfilment, 
aggravated by a host of maladies produced by the 
habits of social life ; so much so, that the most keen 
and enjoyable pleasure we can imagine cannot, 
either in intensity or duration, make up for the 
atrocious pain which accompanies certain disorders, 
such as gout, toothache, acute rheumatism, stran- 
gury, or that caused by the severity of punishment 
practised in some countries. 

Owing to this practical dread of pain, man, even 
without being aware of it, throws himself by a 
strong reaction in the opposite direction, and gives 
himself up to the few pleasures allotted him by 
Nature. Hence, also, he increases them, lengthens 
them, modifies them — in a word, worships them ; for 
in the idolatrous ages, and for a long series of 
generations, all the pleasures were secondary 
divinities, presided over by the superior gods. It 
is true that the severity of more modern religions 
has destroyed all those patrons^ and Bacchus, 


Cupid, Comus, and Diana no longer exist, except in 
poetical tradition or memory ; but the thing still 
exists, and, under the most serious of all forms of 
belief, men carouse at a marriage, a baptism, and 

even a funeral. 

Meals or repasts, in the sense which we give to 
the word, took their rise in the second era of the 
human race, or as soon as fruits ceased to be man's 
principal food. The preparation and distribution of 
the meat rendered a meeting of the family necessary, 
the heads distributing to the children the product 
of the chase, and the adult children in their turn 
rendering the same service to their aged parents. 

Such meetings, at first limited to near relations, 
gradually came to include neighbours and friends. 
At a later period, when men became more widely 
spread, the weary traveller found a seat at those 
primitive repasts, and repaid them with tales of 
distant countries. Hence the origin of hospitality 
and its rights, held sacred amongst all races; for 
there is none, however savage, that does not hold it 
a duty to respect the life of him with whom breaxl 
and salt have been shared. 

Such, from the nature of things, must have been 
the rudiments of the pleasures of the table, important 
which must be carefully distinguished distino- 
£rom its necessary antecedent, the pleasure 
of eating. 


The pleasure of eating is the present *and direct 
sensation of a want being satisfied ; the pleasure of 
the table implies reflection, being due to the various 
surroundings, such as the place, the guests, what- 
ever is said or seen during the repast. 

The pleasure of eating is common to us with the 
animals : it merely supposes hunger, and that which 
is necessary to satisfy it. The pleasure of the table 
is peculiar to the human species: it implies that 
care is bestowed beforehand upon preparing the 
repast, choosing the place, and assembling the 
guests. The pleasure of eating requires, if not 
hunger, at least appetite ; the pleasure of the table 
is often independent of both. 

The distinction between those two modes of 
enjoyment is seen at our banquets. At the first 
course, every one eats eagerly, without speaking, 
without attending to anything said ; and, whatever 
the guest's social rank may be, he only thinks 
of doing yeoman's service in the general work. 
But, when the natural wants are satisfied, reflection 
arises, talk is interchanged, a new order of things 
takes place ; and he who has hitherto been a mere 
eater, becomes a guest more or less agreeable, 
according to the means bestowed upon h\m by the 
Master of all things. 

The pleasure of the table does not consist in 


transports of ecstasies; but it gains in duration 
what is lost in intensity, and is especially Bome 
distinguished by a peculiar privilege of ^^^'^' 
disposing us to all the other pleasures, or consoling 
us for their loss. 

In fact, both body and soul are specially conscious 
of well-being after a good dinner. Physically, 
whilst the brain is enlivened, the face brightens, 
the colour rises, the eyes sparkle, a pleasant warmth 
is diffused in every part. Morally, the wits are 
sharpened, the imagination warms, and the con- 
versation becomes cheerful and humorous. 

Moreover, we frequently find brought together 
round the same table all the modifications intro- 
duced amongst us by a highly developed sociability: 
as love, friendship, business, theories, influence, 
solicitations, patronage, ambition, intrigue. Hence 
conviviality concerns everything ; hence it produces 
fruits of all flavours. 

One immediate result of those antecedents is, 
that all the ingenuity of man has been . ,.^ . , 
concentrated upon the object of increas- acoesso- 
ing and intensifying the pleasure of the ^^^ 

Poets have complained that the neck is, from 
its shortness, a hindrance to the duration of the 
pleasure of tasting. Others have lamented the 


small capacity of the stomach, and some have 
even spared it the duty of digesting the first 
meal, in order to have the pleasure of swallowing 
a second. 

That was the boldest attempt made to increase the 
enjoyments of the palate. But, being unable to cross 
in that direction the limits fixed by Nature, men 
directed their ingenuity upon the accessories, which 
at least presented more scope. They used flowers 
to adorn the vases and glasses, to crown the guests : 
they ate under the vault of heaven, in gardens, in 
groves, in presence of all the marvels of nature. 
To the pleasure of the table were joined the charms 
of music and the sound of instruments. Thus, 
whilst the court of the King of the Phaeacians were 
feasting, Phemius, the minstrel, celebrated the deeds 
and warriors of bygone times. 

Often, too, dancers, jugglers, and comic actors, of 
both sexes and every costume, came to engage the 
eye without lessening the enjoyment of the table ; 
the most exquisite perfumes were shed around ; and 
sometimes, even, the guests were waited upon by 
beauty unveiled. 

I could easily fill pages to prove these state- 
ments. There are the Greek and Latin authors, 
there are our ancient histories at hand to copy 
from ; but as the researches have already been 


made, I simply give as facts what others have 
already proved. 

In addition to the former modes of gastronomic 
gratification, we have adopted recent dis- ^g., , 
coveries. There is no doubt the delicacy i9th cen- 
of our manners could not suffer the Koman ^^^ 
practice of using vomitories, but we have done 
better, and reach the same end by a method allowed 
by good taste. We have invented dishes so attrac- 
tive that they unceasingly renew the appetite ; yet 
they are at the same time so light that they flatter 
the palate without loading the stomach. Seneca 
would have called them nuhes escvlentas. 

In gastronomic progress, indeed, we have arrived 
at such a point, that if the calls of business did 
not force us to rise from the table, or the want of 
sleep interpose, the duration of our repasts would 
be almost unlimited ; and there would be no fixed 
data for finding what time might elapse between 
the first glass of Madeira and the last tumbler 
of punch.* 

It must not be thought, however, that all these 
accessories are necessary to constitute the pleasure 
of the table. That pleasure is realized almost com- 
pletely as often as we combine the four conditions 

* TaUeyrand is said to have introduced into France the custom 
of taking Parmesan with soup and Madeira after it. 


of — oheer at least passable, good wine, pleasant 
companions, and plenty of time. 

Thus, I have often wished to have shared the 
frugal meal to which Horace speaks of inviting 
a neighbour, or a casual guest whom bad weather 
has driven to his house to seek shelter; to wit, a fine 
fowl and a young kid (in good condition, of course), 
with a dessert of raisins, figs, and nuts. What 
with these, and some wine of the Manlius vintage 
("nata mecum Consule Manlio"), and the conversa- 
tion of the Epicurean poet, I should have been sure 
of a most enjoyable supper. 

But then, 
If a long-absent friend came to see me again, 
Or a neighbour stepped in of a day, when the wefc 
Stopped aU work out of doors, they were handsomely met, 
Not with fish from the town, but with pullet and kid, 
With a good bunch of grapes for dessert, laid amid 
A handful of nuts, and some figs of the best. 
Then we drank, each as much as he felt had a zest. 

Theod. Mabtin's ** Horace." 

In the same way, half-a-dozen friends may regalo 
on a leg of mutton and a kidney, washed dowa with 
some Orleans and excellent Medoc, and spend the 
evening in talk, full of the most delightful freedom, 
and in complete forgetfulness of finer dishes or more 
skiKul cookery. 

If, on the other hand, the wine is bad, the guests 
brought together without care or discrimination^ 


the faces gloomy, and the dinner eaten hurriedly, 
then there can be no pleasure at the table, how- 
ever choice may be the good cheer, and however 
sumptuous the accessories. 

But, the impatient reader will probably exclaim, 
how, then, in this present year of grace, is a dinner 
to be regulated so as to bring together all the 
requisites necessary to the highest pleasures of the 
table ? I proceed to answer this question. Prepare 
your minds, my readers, and give attention; it is 
from Gasterea,* fairest of the Muses, that I receive 
inspiration. I shall be more easily understood than 
an oracle, and my precepts will live through future 

"Let the number of the guests not exceed 
twelve, so that the conversation may be constantly 

"Let them be chosen so that their occupations 
are various, their tastes analogous, and with such 
points of contact that there will be no need for the 
. odious formality of introductions. 

" Let the dining-room be brilliantly lighted, the 
cloth spotless, and the atmosphere at a temperature 
•of from sixty to sixty-eight degrees of Fahrenheit. 

* The poetical notion of a tenth Muse is more fuUy developed 
in the last chapter of the book. The importance of Gastronomy, 
artistically or aesthetically, no doubt gave it in our author's eye& 
a better claim for such a patroness than, say, History. 


^ Let the men have wit without pretention, and 
the women be pleasant without being coqnettes. 

** Let the dishes be exceedingly choice, bat small 
in nnmber : and the wines of the first qnality, each 
in its degree. 

^ Let the order of serving be from the more sub- 
stantial dishes to those that are lighter ; and from 
the simpler wines to those of finer flavour. 

** Let the eating proceed without hurry or bustle, 
since the dinner is the last business of the day ; and 
let the guests look upon themselves as travellers 
about to reach the same destination together. 

** Let the coffee be hot and the liqueurs chosen 
with particular care. 

" Let the drawing-room to which the guests retire 
be large enough to admit of a game of cards for 
those who cannot do without it, while leaving ample 
scope for after-dinner chat. 

** Let the guests be detained by the social enjoy- 
ment, and animated with the hope that, before the 
evening is over, there is still some pleasure in store. 

" Let the tea be not too strong, the toast artisti- 
cally buttered, and the punch skilfully made. 

"Let nobody leave before eleven o'clock, and 
everybody be in bed by twelve." 

Whoever has been guest at a repast combining 
all these conditions, can boast of having taken a part 


at his own apotheosis ; and his enjoyment will have 
been in proportion to the number of conditions that 
have been duly fulfilled. 

I have already said that the pleasure of the table, 
such as I have described it, is susceptible of being 
prolonged. That I now proceed to prove by giving 
a true and exact account of the longest repast I 
ever made in my life, which I present to the reader 
as a little treat for his courteous attention. 

On the outskirts of the Kue du Bac there was a 
house I used to visit often, and was always j^^^^^ 
most kindly received by the family, who tive 
were composed as follows: the doctor, *^^ ^ 
aged seventy-eight; the captain, seventy-six; and 
their sister, seventy-four, 

" By Jove ! " cried the doctor one day, rising on 
tip-toe to slap me on the shoulder ; " you have for a 
long time been bragging about joxii fondues (eggs 
beaten up with cheese), and making our mouths 
water, it is time to put a stop to that sort of thing. 
We will come and lunch with you some day, the 
captain and I, and see what the dish is like." (It 
is now about twenty-four years since he thus teased 
me.) " With all my heart ! " said I ; " and you will 
have one in all its glory, for I shall make it myseK. 
I am delighted with your proposaL So to-morrow 
at ten — military punctuality." 


Punctual to the minute, I saw my guests arrive, 
clean shaven, their hair fresh from the barber ; two 
little old men, still hale and hearty. They smiled 
with delight on seeing the table laid for three, and 
at each plate two dozen oysters with a bright golden 
lemon. At each end of the table stood a bottle of 
Sauterne, carefully wiped, all except the cork, which 
showed unmistakeably that it was long since the 
wine had been bottled. 

Alas! I have lived to see nearly the last of 
those cheerful luncheons, once so common, where 
oysters were swallowed by thousands. They dis- 
appeared with the abbes, who always ate at least a 
gross, and the chevaliers, who never stopped. I 
regret them, but it is as a philosopher; if time, 
modifies governments, how great must have been its 
influence upon the simple social usages 1 

After the oysters, which were found quite fresh, 
the servant brought to table some roasted kidneys, 
a jar of truffled foie-gras, and, last of all, the fondice. 

The constituents were all together in a saucepan, 
which was placed on the table over a chafing-dish, 
heated with spirits of wine. I commenced opera- 
tions, and not a single one of my evolutions on the 
field of battle was lost sight of by my guests. 
They were loud in their praises of my success, and 
asked to have the recine, which I promised, at the 


same time telling them two tajes that hang thereby, 
also told to the reader in another chapter. 

After the fondue came the fruits of the season, 
and sweets, with a cup of genuine Mocha, done d la 
Dvhdloy * (a mode then coming into fashion) ; 
finishing off with two liqueurs, one a spirit, to clear, 
and the other an oil, to soothe. 

The luncheon well over, I proposed to my guests, 
by way of a slight exercise, to show them over my 
house, which, without being sumptuous, is roomy and 
comfortable. One thing particularly pleased them 
— ^that the ceilings and gildings date from the reign 
of Louis XV. I showed them the original cast of 
the bust of my pretty cousin, Madame Kecamier,t by 
Chinard, and her portrait in miniature by Augustin. 
With these they were so charmed that the doctor 
with his big lips kissed the portrait, and the captain 
was proceeding to take the same liberty with the 
bust, for which I boxed his ears; for if every 

* To treat Mocha h la Duhelhy, according to Savarin, pour 
boiling water on the coflfee, placed in a vase pierced with very 
small holes, and then, after heating the decoction thus run 
through almost to the boiling point, pour it again into the vase, 
and the result is clear, strong, and beautiful. 

f This name may recal a Madame Re'camier of whom Sainte- 
Beuve gives a beautiful picture in his * Causeries * for 1851. Had 
there been a French edition of our Author, with notes by some 
man of letters^ we should probably have known in what degree, if 
any, Savarin's cousin was related to her namesake, the accom- 
plished friend of Chateaubriand. 


admirer of the original were to do the same, that 
lovely bosom would soon share the fate of the big- 
toe of St. Peter's statue at Rome, which the pilgrims 
have shortened by dint of kissing. I afterwards 
showed them some casts of the best ancient 
sculptures, some paintings, by no means despicable ; 
my guns, my musical instruments, and some fine 
editions of French and foreign books. 

In this voyage of discovery they did not forget 
the kitchen, where I showed my economical stock- 
pot, my roasting-oven, my clockwork turnspit, and 
my steam vapourizer. They examined everything 
most minutely, being the more astonished, because 
in their own house the arrangements were all as 
they had been during the Regency. 

The very instant we returned to the drawing- 
room it struck two o'clock. " Confound it ! " cried 
the doctor; "there's our dinner-time, and sister 
Jeannette must be waiting for us. not that I 
feel hungry, but I don't like to miss my soup. It is 
so old a habit, that if I let a day pass without it, I 
say, like Titus, * diem perdidi* " 

" My dear doctor," said I, " why go so far to find 
what you have close at hand? I shall send some 
one to tell your sister that you are staying a little 
longer at my house, to do me the pleasure of dining 
here. You must, however, make allowances, as the 
dinner will not compare with a got-up impromptu." 


This produced between the two brothers an 
ocular consultation, followed by formal consent. I 
despatched the message to the Faubourg St. 
Germain, at the same time giving the hint to my 
major-domo of the kitchen; and after a yery rea- 
sonable interval, what with his own resources, and 
what with those of the neighbouring restaurants, 
he served us up a little dinner well dressed and 
thoroughly to our taste. 

It gave me special satisfaction to see the calm 
self-possession with which my two friends took their 
places at the table, unfolded their napkins, and 
made ready to begin. They had two surprises of 
which I myself had not thought — Parmesan served 
with the soup, and a glass of dry Madeira after. 
These were two novelties lately imported by Prince 
Talleyrand, the first of our diplomatists, to whom 
we owe so many wise and witty sayings, and who, 
as a public man, has always attracted special ettten- 
tion, whether in power or retirement. 

The dinner was a decided success, as well in 
substantial as in accessories, and my friends were 
excellent company. 

Dinner over, I proposed a game of cards, which 
my guests declined — ^preferring, as the captain said, 
the far niente of the Italians — and we accordingly 
seated ourselves around the fireplace. Thinking, 


however, that, in spite of the pleasures of the doUe 
far nientey there is nothing that more enhances the 
enjoyment of conversation than something to occupy 
without engrossing the attention, I proposed a cup 
of tea. My guests accepted the offer, though tea 
was then quite ^ novelty for Frenchmen of the old 
stock. I made it before them, and they drank two 
or three cups, with all the more pleasure that they 
had always understood it was merely a kind of 

A long experience has taught me that kindness 
begets kindness, and that as soon as one concession, 
is made to friendship, others are inevitable. There- 
fore, in a tone almost imperative, I said we should 
finish off with a bowl of punch. " Why, you'll be 
the death of me ! " cried the doctor. " Are you 
going to make us drunk ? " said the captain. My 
only answer was shouting, as loudly as I could, for 
lemons, sugar, and rum. 

While mixing the punch, I ordered some thin 
toast and salt butter to be got ready, in spite of the 
declaration of my guests. They said they could 
not touch it; but knowing the attractions of that 
simple dish, I said the only thing I was afraid of 
was that there might not be enough. And true 
enough, seeing the captain glance in a short time at 
the empty dish, I had another supply brought. 


Meanwhile, time had passed away, and the clock 
showed it was late. "We really must be off; our 
poor sister has not seen us all day, and we should 
"be in time to have a bit of salad with her at supper- 
time." I made no objection, and faithful to my 
duty as host of two pleasant old friends, I accom- 
panied them to their carriage and saw them leave. 

Should you ask if, during so long a sitting, we 
at any time felt at all bored, I answer with a 
decided " No." The attention of my guests was kept 
awake by the preparation of the fondve, by our 
Toyage over my house, by some novelties in the 
dinner, by the tea, and, above all, by the punch, 
which they had never before tasted. Besides, the 
doctor knew the whole of Paris by genealogies and 
anecdotes ; the captain had spent part of his life in 
Italy, either in the army or as an envoy at the 
-Court of Parma; and I myself have travelled a 
great deal. We talked in an easy, natural flow, 
and took pleasure in hearing each other. What 
more is needed to make time pass agreeably and 
quickly ? 

Next morning I had a note from the doctor to 
say that the little debauch of the previous evening 
had done them no harm, but that, on the contrary, 
after a night of pleasant sleep they got up firesh, 
quite disposed and ready to begin anew. 



Of all a man's experiences in which eating reckons 
as important, one of the most agreeable im- 
doubtedly is the resting-time of a hunting party. 
Of all known interludes, it alone does not become 
tiresome, however much prolonged. 

After several hours of exercise, the most vigorous 
hunter feels a want of rest. His face has been 
caressed by the morning breeze, he has exerted his 
skill as opportunity offered, the sun is near the 
highest point of its course; therefore the hunter 
proceeds to make a halt of several hours, not from 
excess of fatigue, but from that impulse of instinct 
by which we are warned that all energy is limited. 

Some shade attracts him, the turf receives him, 
and the murmur of a neighbouring fountain invites 
him to dip in it the flask intended to quench his 
thirst. Thus placed, he brings forth with a calm 
satisfaction the small, golden-crusted rolls, unfolds 
the cold chicken stowed in his bag by a loving 
hand, arranging aU beside the nugget of fine old 
cheese which is destined to figure as his dessert. 

During these preparations, the hunter is not 


aloDo; he is accompanied by the faithful animal 
which heaven has created for his use. Crouched 
before him, the dog looks affectionately at his 
master ; having been - fellow-workers, they under- 
stand each other. They are two friends, and the 
servant is both happy and proud of being his 
master's guest. Their appetite is of a quality 
unknown both to the worldly and the devout ; to the 
former because they never give hunger time to 
come, and to the latter because they never give 
themselves up to the exercises that produce it. 

The repast has been taken with delight. Each 
has had his share, and all is completed comfortably 
and peacefully. Why should one not take a few 
minutes sleep ? Noon is the hour of rest. 

Those simple pleasures are increased tenfold if 
shared by several friends. For then a more abun- 
dant repast is forthcoming, and they talk gaily of 
the feats of one, the blunders of another, and their 
hopes for the rest of the day. 

What would it be, then, if attentive servants came, 
loaded with those vases consecrated to Bacchus in 
which an artificial cold freezes together Madeira, the 
juice of the strawberry and pineapple — delicious 
drinks, divine mixtures which send through the 
veins a charming coolness, causing in every part a 
well-being imknown to the profane. 


Bnt eyen then we hare not reached the limit in 
this ascending series of delights. 

There are days when onr wiyes, onr sisters^ our 
cousins, and other lady Mends, have been inyited to 
share in the pleasures of the chase. At the ap- 
pointed hour there come the handsome carriages 
loaded with the fair, all feathers and flowers, many 
of them dressed in a style somewhat military and 
coquettish. Soon the interior of each carriage dis* 
closes its treasures of pies, its marvels of patS-de- 
foie^ffras, its dainties of all possible kinds. Kor is 
the foaming champagne forgot, its quality enhanced 
under the hand of beauty. Seating themselves on 
the green sward, they eat while the corks fly, and 
there is talk, laughter, and merriment, and perfect 
freedom, for the universe is their drawing-room and 
the sun their lamp. Besides, they have appetite. 
Nature's special gift, which lends to such a meal a 
vivacity unknown indoors, however beautiful the 

As, however, everything must have an end, at the 
signal given by the master of the ceremonies all 
rise, and the men resume their guns, the ladies their 
hats. Grood-bye is said, the carriages are brought 
up, aTxd the fair visitors fly away, not to be again 
scon till the evening. 

I have hunted in the centre of France and the 


most remote provinces, and seen at the halt of a 
hunting party charming women, girls beaming with 
freshness — some arriving in cabriolets, and others 
in simple comitry gigs, or even on the humble ass 
to which some of thie suburbs owe both fame and 
fortune. I have seen them foremost in enjoying the 
slight mischances of transport. I have seen them 
display on the turf the turkey in clear jelly, the 
household pie, the salad all ready for mixing. I 
have seen them dancing with light foot round 
the bivouac fire. Having seen these and shared 
in the games and merriment belonging to such a 
gipsy feast, I feel convinced that, though there be 
less luxury than in the former case, there is quite 
as much that is charming, gay, and delightful. 

And, at the parting, why should some kisses not 
be bestowed upon the best huntsman, because full of 
honour, upon the worst, because of his ill-luck, and 
then upon the rest, to prevent jealousy ? All are 
about to separate, custom authorizes it, and to take 
advantage of such an occasion is not only allowed, 
but an actual duty. 

Fellow-sportsmen, ye who are prudent and never 
aim heedlessly, fire straight and bag as much game 
as you can before the ladies arrive ; for experience 
teaches that, after their departure^ the hunting is 
very rarely successfuL 




**It is not what a man eats that nourishes him," 
says an old proverb, " but what he digests." Diges- 
tion, then, is a condition of existence, a law governing 
as imperatively the poor as the rich, the shepherd 
as the king. 

But how few know what digestion means! In 
this most men are like M. Jourdain, who had been 
speaking prose without being aware of it ; and it is 
on their account that I give a short sketch of this 
subject, feeling certain that M, Jourdain was 
greatly pleased when assured by the philosopher 
that what he spoke was prose. 

Digestion is a purely mechanical operation, and 
the digestive apparatus may be considered aa. a mill 
furnished with its sieves, in order to extract 
the food all that can be of use in repairing the 
bodily wants, and reject the husky residuum. After 
being impregnated by the various fluids supplied 
by the mouth and esophagus, the food, on reaching 
the stomach, is for several hours submitted to the 
fiction of the gastric juice, at a temperature of more 
than 100* of Fahrenheit. 


The chyle elaborated by this operation is a white 

liquor, almost without taste or smell, but of such 

J importance that, as soon as it is received into the 

I circulation, the individual becomes aware of it by 

the conscious increase of vital force, and an intimate 

conviction that the bodily losses are made good. 

Digestion is of longer or shorter duration, accord- 
ing to the particular disposition of the individual. 
The average time may be given at about seven 
hours — rather less than half of which is assigned 
to the stomach, or digestion proper. 

Of all the bodily functions, digestion is that 
which has most influence on the morale r n 


of the individual — his feelings and mental of diges- 
conditions. Let this assertion astonish no 
one, for it is necessarily true. The most elementary 
principles of psychology teach us that the mind 
receives impressions only through the organs which 
are subject to it, and place it in communication 
with exterior objects ; hence it follows that, when 
these organs are out of order, enfeebled, or irritated, 
that state of degradation must affect the sensations, 
which are the intermediary and occasional means of 
the intellectual operations. Thus, by our habitual 
mode of digestion, especially in its later stages, 
we are rendered habitually sad or gay, silent or 
talkative, morose or melancholy, without even sus- 


pecting iiy and, what is more, without being able 
to prevent it. 

In young people digestion is often accompanied 
by a slight shiver; in the old by a strong desire 
to sleep. In the former case, it is Nature with- 
drawing the caloric from the surfaces to use it in 
her laboratory, and in the latter, the natural power^ 
already enfeebled by age, cannot suffice at the same 
time for the work of digestion and the excitation of 
the senses. 

Some persons always show temper during the 
time of digestion, and nobody should then propose 
plans to them, or beg favours. Marshal Augereau 
was a special instance of this, for during the first 
hour after dinner he would kill whoever came in 
his way, friend or enemy. One day I heard him 
say that there were in the army two persons whom 
the chief commander could at any time order to be 
shot, namely, the paymaster and the captain of the 
staff. They were both present. General Cherin 
made some reply in a cajoling tone, but with spirit ; 
the paymaster said nothing, though he probably 
thought none the less. 

I was then on the marshal's staff, and a knife and 
fork were always laid for me at his table, but I 
seldom went, from dread of those periodical squalls, 
being afraid, in fact, lest on a single word he should 


send me to finish my digestion under arrest. I 
have often since met him in Paris, and as he used 
to express regret at not having met me more fre- 
quently, I made no concealment of the cause: 
though laughing over it, he almost admitted that I 
was not entirely wrong. 

It was at Offenburg we were then on service, and 
a special grievance of the staff was that we had no 
game or fish at dinner. The complaint was not un- 
reasonable, for it is a universal maxim that the 
conquerors should make good cheer at the expense 
of the conquered. Accordingly, I wrote the same 
day a polite note to the head-forester, pointing 
out the complaint and prescribing the cure. He 
was an old German knight, tall, meagre, and dark, 
who could not suffer us, and no doubt treated us 
as badly as he dared, to prevent our taking root 
in his territory. His reply, therefore, was fuU of 
evasions, and amounted almost to a refusal: the 
gamekeepers had disappeared, from fear of our 
soldiers, the fishermen were no longer under orders, 
and the rivers were swollen, etc., etc. To such ex- 
cellent reasons I made no reply ; but I sent him ten 
grenadiers to be billeted upon him until further 

The medicine took effect. Next morning, very 
early, there arrived a cart abimdantly loaded ; and 


no' doubt, the gamekeepers had returned and the 
fishermen again become amenable to authority, for 
there was game and fish enough to regale us for 
more than a week : venison, woodcocks, carp, pike — 
an abundant godsend. 

On receiving this expiatory offering, I delivered 
the unlucky head-forester of his guests. He came 
to see us, and I soon brought him to take a proper 
view of the subject ; so that, during the rest of our 
stay in that country, we could only congratulate 
ourselves on his treatment of us. 



Man's organization does not admit of continuous 
activity : Nature has only destined him to an in- 
terrupted existence. At the close of certain periods 
his perceptions cease. 

When in a state of sleep and having his mind 
acted upon solely by dreams, if at all, man is no 
longer a member of society. The law still protects 
him but no longer commands him. 

A curious instance of this was told me by Don 

ON BEST. 157 

Duhaget, formerly prior of the Chartreuse Pierre- 
Chatel, a man belonging to an honourable Gascon 
iamily, and who had served for twenty years with 
distinction as captain in the infantry. 

"Amongst the friars," said he, referring to the- 
place he had been prior of before coming j^^jg^. 
to Pierre-Chatel, " there was one of melan- tiv© 
choly, if not sullen, disposition, who was 
known to be a somnambulist. Sometimes, when 
the fit was upon him, he left his cell and returned 
to it by himself; at other times he lost his way 
and they were obliged to lead him back. Several 
remedies had been tried, and at last, his relapses 
becoming less frequent, no further notice was taken 
of his case. 

** One night, being later up than usual, I was at 
my writing-desk, busy with some papers, when I 
heard the door of my room open, and soon saw this 
monk enter, in a state of absolute somnambulism. 
His eyes were open and staring, he had no clothes 
on him except the tunic used for a night-dress, 
and he held a big knife in his hand. He went 
straight to my bed, evidently knowing where 
it was placed, and seemed to satisfy himself, by 
feeling with his hands, that I was really in it ; after 
which, he struck three blows with such good-will 
that, after piercing the bed-clothes, the blade went 


deeply into the mattrass, or lather, the matting 
which served for that purpose. 

" On first passing me, his features were contracted 
and his eyebrows knitted together; but when he 
turned round, after striking the blows, I observed that 
his features were relaxed and wore an expression of 
content. The light of the two lamps on my bureau 
made no impression on his eyes, and he went back 
as he came, carefully opening and shutting the two 
doors which led to my room, and then at once 
retiring quietly to his own. 

"You can easily form a conception," said the 
prior, " of my feelings during that frightful appari- 
tion. I shuddered with horror to see the danger 
from which I had just escaped, and gave thanks to 
Providence ; but my emotion was such that it W8« 
impossible to close my eyes for the rest of the night. 

" Next morning I sent for the sonmambulist, and, 
coming at once to the point, asked him what he had 
been dreaming about during the night. He was 
evidently confused by that question. ^ I have had 
so strange a dream, father,' he replied, * that, indeed, 
I can scarcely disclose it to you; it may be the 
work of the devil, and * 

"*I command you,' said I; *a dream is always 
involuntary, and is nothing but an illusion. Speak 
your mind without reserve.* 

ON REST. 159 

" * I had scarcely gone to bed, father/ said he, 
*thaii I dreamt that you had killed my mother; 
that her ghost appeared to me, demanding ven- 
geance, and that the sight transported me with 
such wild fury, that I ran like a madman to 
your room, and, finding you in bed, stabbed you 
there. Soon after I awoke, bathed in perspiration, 
full of detestation for the attempted crime, and im- 
mediately blessed God that it had not been com- 

** * There has been more committed than you think 
for,' said I calmly, with an air of great seriousness. 
Then I told him what had taken place, pointing out 
the marks of the blows which he had aimed at my 

** At the very sight he threw himself at my feet, all 
in tears, bewailing the involuntary misfortune which 
had so nearly taken place, and imploring me to im- 
pose some penitential duty upon him. ^ISTo,' I 
said ; ^ I shall inflict no punishment for an involun- 
tary action, but in future, I dispense with your 
attendance at the evening services, at the same 
time warning you that your room will be locked 
from the outside after the evening meal, to be 
opened only at daybreak, to enable you to attend 
the common mass.' " 

Had the prior been killed under those circum- 


stances, the somnambulist monk would not have 
been punished as a murderer, because the action was 

When, for a certain length of time, man has en- 
Time for joyed his existence fully, there comes a 
sleep. moment when he begins to weary ; his im- 
pressions become gradually less vivid; all attempts to 
keep his senses alive are without effect ; the organs 
themselves no longer perform their proper functions ; 
the soul is saturated with sensations ; the time for 
rest is at hand. 

To sleep, as to every act relating to the preser- 
vation of the species, Nature, kindest mother of all, 
has united pleasure as a companion. As he falls 
into a healthy sleep, man is conscious of a general 
and indefinable sense of well-beiag; he feels his 
arms lie down by their own weight, his muscles relax, 
and a weight taken off his brain; his senses are 
calm, and his sensations less keen; he wishes for 
nothing; he no longer thinks: a fine veil, as it 
were, is drawn over his eyes. A few moments more 
and he sleeps. 


( i6i ) 



Though there are a few men so organized that it 
might almost be said that they do not sleep, yet 
as a general rule, the want of sleep is as im- 
perious as hunger or thirst. The outposts of an 
army often fall asleep, even though they throw 
snufif into their eyes. Pichegru, when tracked by 
Bonaparte's police, gave 30,000 francs for a night's 
sleep, during which he was betrayed and given up. 

Like other pleasures, sleep may be indulged in 
to excess, as in the case of those whom we see 
sleep away three-fourths of their life. Its effects in 
such instances are always bad ; such as sloth, indo- 
lence, weakness, stupidity, and death. 

The school of Salerno allowed only seven hours 
sleep, without distinction of age or sex, a rule which 
is too severe ; for more must be granted to infanta, 
from their actual necessity, and to women from 
kindness. One thing, however, is certain : that he 
who spends more than ten hours in bed, errs in 

During the first moments of dawning sleep the 
will still acts; one can arouse himseH; a few ideas 


still arise in the mind, though mostly incoherent. 
Soon all sensation or thought vanishes, and we fall 
into absolute sleep. 

How is the mind occupied during that time ? It 
lives within itself: it is like the pilot during a 
calm, like a mirror during the darkness, like a 
harp whose strings are untouched; it awaits the 
renewal of active life. 

Some psychologists,* however, including Count 
de Bedem, maintain that the mind is constantly in 
a state of activity ; the latter advancing, as a proof, 
the fact that those who are forcibly aroused from 
their first sleep experience the sensation of a man 
who is disturbed in some occupation in which he 
has been earnestly engaged. 

In any case, the state of absolute annihilation is 
but short, never exceeding five or six hours. A 
vague consciousness of existence begins to revive, 
and the sleeper passes into the realm of dreams. 

* Sir William Hamilton has advanced a similar theory in some 
of his philosophical writings. To prove that consciousness is 
continuous, he experimented upon himself by getting his servant 
to awake him during sleep at diferent times, and invariably 
found that the mind was occupied — that there had been no break 
in the consciousness, no solution of its continuity, even though no 
recollection of dreams remained. 

( 163 ) 



Dbeams are imperfect impressions wHich reach the 
mind without the assistance of external objects. 
As soon as the phenomena of dreams are better 
understood, the duality of the human constitution 
will be better known. 

When a man who is awake receives impressions 
from an external object, the sensation is precise, 
direct and inevitable, the whole of the communi- 
cating nerve being called into play. When, on the 
other hand, the same impression reaches the mind 
during sleep, it is only the nearer or hinder part of 
the nerve which vibrates, and the sensation must 
necessarily be less lively and less precise. In one 
case the percussion traverses the whole organ, and 
in the other the vibration is confined to the parts 
in the neighbourhood of the brain. 

^ A singular thing is that it is excessively rare that 
the sensations we dream of have to do a fact 
with taste or smell; in dreaming of a ^^c^ 


garden or a field we see the flowers with- be investi- 
out smelling their odours, or if seated at ^*®^' 
a banquet, we see the dishes without learning any- 
thing of their taste or flavour. 


It were a task worthy of our scientific men to 
investigate why two of our senses produce no 
mental impression during sleep, while all the others 
act in full force. 

It is to be observed, also, that the more intimate 
or reflective the affections of our dreams are, they 
are the more intense. Thus, merely sensible ideas 
are nothing compared to the anguish felt when one 
dreams of having lost a dear child, or of going 
to be hanged. In such a case one will frequently 
awake covered with perspiration or bathed in 

However incongruous the ideas are which agitate 
Nature of ^^ ^ dreaming, when closely examined 
dreams, ^j^^y ^l^ |jg found to be only recollections, 

or combinations of recollections. I had almost said 
that dreams are but the memory of the senses. 

Their peculiarity is that the association of those 
ideas is different from the ordinary mode, because 
freed from the laws of natural sequence, from all 
conventional notions, and from time itsel£ Thus a 
final analysis shows that no one has dreamed of any- 
thing which was previously entirely unknown to 
him. One will not be astonished at the singularity of 
our dreams if he considers that, for the waking man, 
there are four faculties which direct and mutually 
correct each other — namely, sight, hearing, touchy 

ON DREAMS. 1 65 

and memory ; whereas, in the case of the sleeping 
man, each sense is abandoned to its own resources. 

I have thought of comparing those two conditions 
of the brain to a piano, before which is seated a 
musician who passes his fingers over the notes in an 
absent-minded manner, and by mere memory shapes 
out a melody ; whereas, if he used all his faculties, 
he could combine with it a complete harmony. This 
comparison might be carried out much farther, when 
we consider that reflection is to our ideas what 
harmony is to sounds, and that certain ideas contain 
others, just as a principal note in a chord contains 
others which are subordinate to it, and so on. 

About 1790, there lived in the village Gevrin, in 
my native parish, a merchant of an ex- j,, 
tremely shrewd character, called Landot, tive 
who had scraped together a considerable ^^ ° * 
fortune. All at once he was struck with such a 
paralytic shock that he was believed to be dead. 
The faculty came to his assistance and saved him ; 
but not without loss, for he left behind him nearly 
all his intellectual faculties, and especially memory. 
There being, however, still life in him, of whatever 
sort, and having recovered his appetite, he con- 
tinued to take charge of his property. 

Seeing him in this state, those who formerly had 
business dealings with him believed that now was 


the time for their revenge, and, on a pretext of 
keeping him company, they came from all parts 
and made proposals of bargains, purchases, sales, 
exchanges, and other such transactions as had pre- 
yiously been his main occupation. The assailants, 
however, speedily found, to their astonishment, that 
they had reckoned without their host. 

The old rascal had lost not a whit of his business 
capacity, and the same man who sometimes did not 
know his own servants and forgot even his name, 
was always fully informed as to the prices of goods, 
as well as of the value of every acre ojF meadow, 
vineyard, or wood, within a radius of nine or ten 
miles round. In those respects his powers of judging 
were intact; and, having no suspicion of such a 
thing, the most of those who tried the invalid 
merchant were caught in the snares they had them- 
selves been laying for hina. 

At Belley, my native town, there lived a M. 
Another Chiral, who had long served in the king's 
iUustra- body-guards, and was noted for only one 
thing — his knowledge of card-playing. 
He was also struck by paralysis and recovered, 
retaining only two faculties : the power of digestion, 
and his skill at cards. 

One day our little town was visited by a Parisian 
banker, named M. Delius, if I remember aright. 

ON D BEAM 8. 1 67 

and being a stranger with several letters of intro- 
duction, all did their best to entertain him. He 
was fond of good-living and of card-playing; the 
former proclivity was easily enough indulged by 
keeping him at table for five or six hours a day, 
but in the case of the latter there was more diflB- 
culty. He was very fond of piquet, and spoke of 
playing for six francs a point, which was enormous, 
compared to our usual rate of play. At last M. 
Chiral was voted by general consent to be his 
opponent as representative and defender of the 
town's reputation. 

When the Parisian banker saw this tall figure, 
pale and ghastly, walk in sideways and take his 
seat as his opponent, he thought at first that it was 
a practical joke; but on the spectre taking the 
cards and shufiling like a proficient of the first class, 
he began to think his opponent might at one time 
have been something worthy of him. Nor did it 
take long to convince him that the faculty still 
remained ; for not only in that rubber, but also in 
many others that followed, M. Delius was com- 
pletely beaten, punished, and plucked; and on 
leaving he had to count out more than six hundred 

Before setting out for Paris, M. Delius came to 
thank us for our good reception of him, protesting 


at the same time against the broken-down adversary 
we had opposed to him, and declaring he would 
never forgive himseK for having shown such in- 
feriority in trying a fall with a dead man. 

It seems clear, from those instances, that, in over- 
Conclu- throwing the brain-power generally, the 
fiion paralytic shock respected that portion 

which had so long been employed in 
problems of business and cards; the reason, no doubt, 
being that continual exercise had given it greater 
strength to resist, or that the impressions so made 
had by long repetition left deeper traces. 

One's age has a marked influence on the nature of 
Character- ^® dream. Thus, in infancy we dream of 
istics of games, gardens, flowers, verdure, and other 

dreams. ,-,, ^ . _ ^ 

smilmg objects ; later, of amusement, love, 
battles, and marriages ; later still, of houses, voyages, 
court-favour ; last of all, of business, trouble, wealth, 
bygone amusements, and friends who have been 
dead for years. 

As the phenomena of dreams are of importance in 
the interests of anthropology, I give instances from 
my own experience. 

One night I dreamt that I had found the secret 
of dispensing with the law of gravitation, so that, my 
body having no tendency either to rise or descend, 
I could do the one as easily as the other, just as I 

ON DREAMS. 1 69 

This state seemed to be sometliiiig delightful; 
and probably many have had similar dreams. The 
most remarkable thing, however, is that I seemed 
to understand very clearly the means by which the 
result was reached, and that they seemed so simple 
that I felt amazed that they had not been found 
out sooner. 

On awaking, the explanatory part of the dream 
completely escaped me, but the conclusion re- 
mained ; and ever since I have a feeling of absolute 
certainty that, sooner or later, some enlightened 
genius will make the discovery. In any case, 
having found, I make a note of it. 

Not many months ago, I experienced such a 
sensation of pleasure during sleep as I had Another 
never felt or heard of. It consisted in a instance, 
sort of delicious quivering through all the atoms of 
my being; a sort of most delightful twitching, 
which, beginning at the surface of my skin aU over 
from head to foot, vibrated through me to the very 
marrow. A bluish flame seemed at the same time 
to play about my forehead : * 

Lambere flamma comas et ciroum tempora pascL 

* The curious egotism of our author's comparing himself to 
^neas is as comic as it is unaffected. A more famous instance 
of vanity in dreaming is that of Sir Godfrey Kneller, as described 
by Pope. The great state-painter dreamt he died, and that, on 


From this state, of which I felt sensibly conscious, 
and which I reckon to have lasted for at least thirty 
seconds, I awoke filled with an amazement which 
was not unmixed with awe. Comparing with it 
some observations made upon people subject to 
trances, and others morbidly excitable, I conclude 
that the limits of pleasure are yet neither known 
nor fixed, and that no man can say how much enjoy- 
ment our body is capable of. May we not hope 
that in a few ages the physiology of the future will 
have power over those extraordinary sensations to 
produce them at will, as sleep is procured by opium ; 
and that our great-grandchildren will in that way 
be recompensed for the atrocious suffering under- 
gone by many in our time. 

An argument from analogy might be brought to 
support the theory I have just advanced. Thus, as 
I have already remarked, the powers of harmony 
which procure for us an enjoyment so keen, so pure, 
and so eagerly sought after, were entirely unknown 
to the Eomans, the discovery being only made in 
the fourteenth century. 

The following illustration, which will be at once 

enoonntering St. Peter, the apostle very civiUy asked his name. 
" I said it was Kneller. I had no sooner said so than St. Luke, 
who was standing close by, turned towards me and said, with a 
great deal of sweetness, * What, the famous Sir Godfrey Kneller 
from England?* * The very same, sir,* said I, *at your service.* '* 

ON DBEAM8. 171 

understood by men of letters, is a clear proof that 
man's moral nature is under the influence of the 

When comfortable in bed in a horizontal position, 
a man, thinking of the work that during the day 
engages his attention, feels a great fertility of 
imagination and flow of ideas clothed in a ready 
succession of happy phrases, and, as one must get 
up in order to write, he dresses himself, and throwing 
off his night-cap, sits down at his writing-table. 

But lo! all at once he is a different individual. 
The warmth of imagination has disappeared ; the 
thread of the ideas is broken ; there is a great lack 
of expression ; he is obliged to hunt up with diffi- 
culty the thoughts which he had so easily found, 
and frequently he feels forced to put off his task to 
a more propitious day. 

Such facts can be easily explained by considering 
how the brain is influenced by the change of 
position and temperature; at all events, it is another 
proof that the body influences the mind. Follow- 
ing out this idea, I am inclined to believe that 
the excitability of the Mahomedans and other 
Orientals is due to the fact that they h^ve the head 
always covered with the warm turban, and that it 
is to obtain a contrary effect that in monasteries the 
religious legislators have imposed the rule of keep- 
ing that part of the body uncovered and shaven. 




Whbtheb reposing, resting, or dreaming, man is 
still constantly under the power of the laws of 
nutrition, and within the domain of gastronomy. 

Theory and experience combine to prove that the 
quality and quantity of our food has a powerful 
influence upon work, rest, sleep, and dreaAis. 

A badly fed man cannot long undergo the 
Its effects fatigue of lasting work. His body be- 
uponwork. qqjj^q^ covered with sweat, and soon all 

strength leaves him ; rest, in his case, is simply an 
utter impossibility of action. 

If it is mental labour that occupies him, ideas 
arise without force or precision. His reflection 
refuses to combine them, his judgment to analyse 
them. The brain exhausts itself in such vain 
attempts; and he falls asleep, as it were, on the 
field of battle. 

On the eve of his departure for Boulogne, the 
Emperor Napoleon was at work for more than 
thirty hours — what with the Council of State and 


the other depositaries of his power — and the only 
refreshment he had was two very short meals and 
several cups of coffee. 

Brown tells us of an English clerk of the 
Admiralty who, after accidentally losing some 
registers which could only be prepared by himself, 
was occupied for fifty consecutive hours in getting 
them done a second time. Without a suitable 
regimen, he could never have dared to attempt such 
an enormous loss of energy ; and the following was 
the way in which he kept up : first by taking water, 
then light food, then wine, then good soup, and 
finally opium. 

One day I met a courier whom I had formerly 
known in the army. He had just arrived from Spain 
where he had been sent with State despatches, and 
had only taken twelve days to accomplish the 
journey. A few glasses of wine and a few bowls of 
soup were all that he had taken during that long 
series of joltings and sleepless days ; and he added 
that any food of a more substantial kind would 
have infallibly rendered him incapable of continuing 
his route. 

Food has a by no means unimportant influence 
upon sleep and dreaming. He who requires j, ^^^ ^ 
to eat cannot sleep. The pangs of hunger ence on 
keep him in a state of painful wakeful- 


ness; and if weakness and exhanstion compel him 
to dose^ the sleep is light and broken, without 

He who, on the contrary, has in his eating 
exceeded the bounds of discretion, falls immediately 
into a state of absolute repose. Shonld he have 
dreamed, there remains no recollection, because the 
nervous fluid has been passing to and &o in all 
directions. For the same reason, he awakes 
suddenly, and has diflSculty in coming back to 
social life ; and eveli when fully awake he still feels 
for a considerable time the languor of indigestion. 

It may be accepted as a general maxim that 
coffee drives away sleep. This inconvenience, 
which is invariably experienced at first by 
Europeans, is weakened by custom, or even dis- 
appears altogether. There are several kinds of 
food which have the contrary effect of inducing 
sleep : such as those that are milky, as all the 
lettuce family of plants, poultry, purslain, orange- 
flower, and especially the rennet apple, when eaten 
immediately before going to bed. 

Experience, founded upon millions of observations, 

has taught us that dreams are determined 

by food. In general, they are caused by 

food which has properties only slightly exciting, 

such as dark-coloured flesh, pigeons, ducks, game. 


and especially hare. That property is also recog- 
nized in asparagus, celery, truffles, scented sweets, 
and particularly vanilla. 

It would be a great mistake to think that all 
such somniferous substances must be banished from 
our tables, for the dreams which they occasion are 
generally light and pleasant, prolonging our exist- 
ence even during the time when it appears to be 

There are some persons for whom sleep is a life 
apart — a sort of prolonged romance ; that is to say, 
that their dreams follow each other, and they finish 
the second night what they had commenced the 
night before, seeing in their sleep certain faces 
which they recognize as already seen, and which, 
nevertheless, they have never met in the actual 

The man who has reflected on the life of the 
body, and conducts it in accordance with the 
principles now being developed, will wisely prepare 
his rest, his sleep, and his dreams. He distributes 
his work so as never to have too much on hand ; he 
lightens it by skilfully varying it; and refreshes 
his energy by short intervals of rest, which relieve 
without any interruption of the continuity which is 
sometimes indispensable. If during the day time 
a longer rest is needed, he takes it only in a sitting 


postnrey refraining from sleep unless absolntely 
compelled to giye iray to it, and being especially 
caiefdl not to contract a habit of it. 

When night brings the horns of daily rest, he 
retires to an airy room, does not sorronnd himseK 
with curtains to make him breathe the same air a 
hundred times, and takes good care not to close his 
window-shutters, so that every time his eye half 
opens he may be consoled by a remnant of light. 

He stretches himself on a bed which rises slightly 
towards the head ; his pillow is of horse-hair, his 
night-cap of linen ; his* chest is not weighed down 
by a weight of bed-clothes, but he takes good care 
that his feet are wannly covered. 

He has eaten with discrimination, denying him- 
self neither good nor excellent cheer ; he has drunk 
the best wines, and with precaution, even though of 
the finest quality. During dessert, he talks more 
about gallantry than politics, and composes love- 
songs rather than epigrams. Afterwards, he takes a 
cup of tea if it suits his constitution, and soon after- 
wards a thimbleful of liqueur, to give the mouth a 
pleasant flavour. In everything, he shows himseK a 
pleasant guest, a distinguished connoisseur, without 
scarcely ever going beyond the limits of his natural 

It is under such circumstances that he goes to 



bed, well pleased with himself and every one else, 
and, closing his eyes, passes through the twilight of 
consciousness, and falls into a state of several hours' 
absolute repose. 

Nature has not been long in levying her tribute, 
and by assimilation all loss is replaced. Then 
pleasant dreams come to bestow upon him a mys- 
terious existence; he sees persons whom he loves, 
recovers his favourite occupations, and is for the 
moment carried to places of which he has pleasant 

At last, feeling himself gradually emerge from 
the state of pleep, he again enters upon social life 
without any regret for time lost, because in his sleep 
he has enjoyed an activity without fatigue, and a 
pleasure without alloy. 



Had I been a doctor holding a University degree,. 
1 should first have written an excellent mono- 
graph on corpulence, and then established my 
empire in that comer of the field of science. I 
should have had the double advantage of having for 


my patients people who enjoy excellent health, and 
of being daily laid siege to by the fairest portion of 
the hmnan race. For to have the proper amonnt of 
embonpoint, neither too much nor too little, is with 
women the study of a lifetime. 

What I have left undone, some other doctor will 
accomplish ; and if he is at once learned, sensible, 
and handsome, I can prophesy for him maryellons 

Ezoriare aliqnis nostiis ex ossibiiB hnres. 

In the mean time, I proceed to open the new 
career ; for a discussion of corpulence is indispensable 
in a work which treats of all that relates to the food 
of man. 

By corpulence, I mean that state of fatty con- 
gestion in which, without the individual being ill, 
the bodily members gradually become larger, and 
lose their original form and symmetry, 

I, myself, am among the number of the gdstro- 
phori, or paunch-bellied, my leg and ankle being 
firm and sinewy as those of an Arab. But this 
local tendency to corpulence I had always regarded 
with special dread, and I conquered it by confining 
it to the limit of the imposing. To conquer it, how- 
ever, a fight was first necessary, and it is to my 
thirty years' struggle that this present essay owes 
any merit that may belong to it. 


To introduce the subject, I shall give a specimen 
of one of the numberless discussions in which I 
formerly took part at table with any one threatened 
with corpulence, or suflferiDg from it. 

8tov;t Party. What delicious bread you have. 
Who is your baker ? 

Myself. Limet, in Rue de Richelieu. He supplies 
the royal family; but I send there because it is 
.near, and continue doing so because I have pro- 
claimed him to be the first bread-maker in the 

8. P. I must take a note of his address. I am a 
great eater of bread, and with such rolls as those I 
could almost dispense with everything else. 

Another S. P. What in the world are you doing ? 
Are you actually leaving that beautiful rice in your 
soup-plate, and eating only the liquid ? 

M. It is a special regime that I prescribe to my- 

8. P. 'Tis a bad one, then. Rice I am very fond 
of, as well as flours, pastry, and things of that sort. 
There is nothing that nourishes better, cheaper, or 
with less trouble. 

A very 8. P. Will you oblige me, sir, by passing 
the potatoes in front of you ; at the rate they are 
going at, I am afraid of not being in time. 

M. There, sir, they are within your reach. 


8. P. But you will surely help yourself to some ? 
There's enough for both, and those who come after 
must do as they may. 

M. I never take any. I think nothing of the 
potato unless as a stop-gap in times of great scar- 
city. It is, to my taste, most insipid. 

8. P. Gastronomic heresy ! There is nothing 
better than the potato. I eat them done in all the 
different ways, and should they appear in the second 
course, whether a la lyonnaise or au souffle, I hereby 
enter a protest for the preservation of my rights. 

A 8tmt Lady. Would you kindly get those 
Soissons haricots fetched, which I see at the end of 
the table ? 

M, (after executing the order, singing in a low 
voice to a well-known tune). 

**How happy are the Soissonnais I 
Where haricots in plenty grow.*' 

8. P. But, joking apart, they form a great 
source of revenue to that country. Paris pays 
a large sum to be supplied with them. I beg also 
your favourable notice for the small marsh beans, 
sometimes called English beans: when still green 
they are a dish for the gods. 

M. Anathema upon the haricots! Anathema 
upon the marsh beans ! 

8. P. (defiantly). I don't care a straw for your 


anathema. One would think, to hear yon, that yon 
were an episcopal council all by yourself ! 

M. (to a lady). I must congratulate you on your 
good health. You have surely got stouter since the 
last time I had the honour to see you. 

8. Lady. That is owing, most likely, to my new 

M. How do you mean ? 

8. L. For some time I have had at lunch an 
excellent rich soup — a basin big enough for two. 
And what soup, too! The spoon almost stands 
alone in it. 

M. (to another stout lady). Unless I mistake your 
glances, you will accept a small piece of this char- 
lotte-cake, and I proceed in your behalf to make an 
attack upon it. 

8. L. Well, sir, you are mistaken by my glances. 
I see two things for which I have a special pre- 
dilection, and both are quite diflferent from that 
you mention : viz., that golden-sided rice-cake and 
that gigantic Savoy biscuit. I may tell you, by 
way of a hint, that I dote upon sugared pastry. 

M. (to another). Whilst they discuss politics at 
that end of the table, will you allow me, madame, 
to examine for you this frangipannita.Tt ? 

8. L. With pleasure. There is nothing I like 
better than pastry. We have a pastrycook for 


tenant ; and my daughter and I, between ns, eat up 
the whole of the rent, I verily belieye, if not more. 

M. (after looking at the yonng lady). Ton seem 
to thriye wonderfully upon it. Your daughter's 
good looks do you great credit. 

8. L. Well ! Would you belieye that her com- 
panions sometimes tell her she is too fat ? 

M. Envy, probably. 

8. L. Very likely. Besides, I am about to get 
her married, and the first child will put all that 
to rights. 

It was by such conversations as these that I got 
light thrown upon a theory which, in a rudimentary 
form, I had seen verified in the lower animals — ^to 
wit, that corpulence by fattening ia mainly due to 
food which is overcharged with feculent and 
farinaceous elements. Thus, also, I became con- 
vinced that the same regimen is always followed by 
the same effect. 

As a matter of fact, carnivorous animals never 
become fat : for example, wolves, jackals, birds of 
prey, the crow, etc. Herbivorous animals fatten 
slightly, at least so long as age has not brought 
them to a state of comparative repose ; and on the 
other hand, they invariably fatten quickly as soon 
as they are fed on potatoes, corn, or any kind of 


Corpulence never occurs either amongst savages 
or those classes of society who work only to eat 
and eat only to live. 

From the preceding observations, the accuracy 
of which any man can verify for himself, it (^t^uses of 

is easy to assign the principal causes of corpu- 


corpulence. The first is the natural dis- 
position of the individual. Almost every man is 
bom with certain predispositions of which his phy- 
siognomy bears the stamp. Out of a hundred 
persons who die of consumption, ninety have brown 
or fair hair, a long face and sharp nose. Out of 
a hundred who are corpulent, there are ninety with 
a short face, round eyes, and blunt nose. 

When in company we meet with a young girl who 
is lively, with rosy complexion, a roguish nose, a 
well-rounded figure, plump hands, and short, plump 
feet, everybody is delighted and pronounces 'her 
charming ; whereas I, being taught by experience, 
look upon her with anticipations of ten years later, 
and seeing the ravages which corpulence is sure to 
cause, I groan over evils not yet existing. Such 
anticipated pity is a painful feeling, and supplies 
one proof against a thousand others that man 
would be more imhappy if he could foresee the 

The second and principal cause of corpulence is 


in the flours and other farinaceous staffs which 
constitute the basis of man's daily food. As we 
haye already remarked, all animals which live on 
farinaceous food must become fat, and man follows 
the common law. 

Feculent food is quicker and truer in its effects 
when combined with sugar. Both sugar and fat 
contain the element hydrogen : thus both are com- 
bustive. So composed, it is active in proportion as 
it pleases the palate ; and few eat of sweets before 
the natural appetite is satisfied, and the luxurious 
appetite alone is left which requires for its grati- 
fication the most refined art and ingenious variety. 

Farinaceous matter is not less fattening when 
conveyed by means of drinks, such as beer. Those 
races who drink it habitually are also those who 
can show the largest paunches : thus, in 1817, 
several Parisian families drank beer for economy, 
because wine was very dear, and the result was, 
they got so stout that they scarcely knew them- 

Another cause of corpulency is twofold, viz., 
that due to taking too much sleep and too little 
exercise. During sleep the human body is greatly 
restored, there being scarcely any loss, on account 
of the muscular action being suspended. Hence 
the necessity for exercise to use up the surplus ; 


but by the very fact of sleeping much, the time 
of action is proportionately limited. Then, again, 
great sleepers recoil from whatever gives the 
slightest fatigue, and thus the excess of what is 
assimilated is conveyed by the current of circu- 
lation, and a small percentage of hydrogen being 
added by one of the mysterious processes of organic 
chemistry, fat is formed and deposited in the cel- 
lular tissue. 

Finally, too much eating and drinking is a cause 
of corpulence. There is much truth in the saying 
that one of the privileges of the human race is to 
eat without being hungry, and drink without being 
thirsty; for, as a matter of fact, it cannot be an 
attribute of the lower animals, since it arises from 
reflection upon the pleasures of the table, and from 
the desire to prolong them. 

Wherever men are found, we also find this twofold 
liking; and it is well known that savages eat to 
excess, and drink till they are dead drunk, as often 
as they have the opportunity. Nay, we ourselves, 
whether citizens of the Old or the New World, 
though we believe we have reached the very cul- 
mination of civilization, most assuredly eat too 
much. I do not refer to that small number who, 
from avarice or incapacity, live alone and apart — 
the former delighted to feel that their hoards in- 



crease, the latter groaning because they cannot do' 
better ; but I speak so emphatically of all those in 
ordinary society who are alternately Amphitryons 
and guests, inviting or invited. All these, even 
after the actual wants of nature are satisfied, eat of 
a dish because it is attractive, and drink of a wine 
because it is foreign. I affirm that, whether enter- 
ing a dining-room every day, or only having a 
treat of a Sunday, and occasionally on the Monday, 
the great majority of us eat and drink too much; 
and enormous quantities of eatables are daily ab- 
sorbed unnecessarily. 

This almost universal cause has diflferent results 
according to the constitution of the individuals ; and 
for people of weak stomachs its result is not corpu- 
lence, but indigestion. 

We have with our own eyes seen an instance well 
. , . known to many Parisians. M. Lang kept 
in illus- house in a most brilliant style, especially 
so far as the table was concerned, but his 
digestion by no means corresponded to his love of 
good eating. As host he did the honours to perfec- 
tion, and did his share of the eating with a courage 
worthy of a better fate. Thus all went well enough 
to the conclusion of the dinner; but then the 
stomach speedily refused the labour imposed upon 
it, and pains began, till the luckless gastronome was 





obliged to throw himself on a sofa, where he lay till 
next day expiating by protracted agony the short 
pleasure which he had enjoyed. 

A very singular point in this case was that he 
never got rid of this peculiarity. So long as he 
lived he was subject to the strange alternative, and 
the previous evening's sufferings never changed or 
modified his conduct at the dinner table on the 

With men of good digestion, the excess of nutri- 
tion acts as indicated in the previous article. All 
the food is digested, and that which is not needed to 
repair loss is appropriated in the form of fat. With 
others there is a constant indigestion, the stomach 
receiving the food without benefit to them; and 
those ignorant of the cause are astonished that a 
better result is not produced by so many good 

The reader must observe that I do not go ex- 
haustively into details; for there is a crowd of 
secondary causes — arising from our habits, from the 
limitations imposed by our condition in life, from 
our hobbies and ' our pleasures — ^all seconding or 
actuating those which I have just pointed out. 
Such full and minute treatment of the subject I 
leave to the successor of whom I spoke at the com- 
mencement of the chapter, contenting myself, as the 


first pioneer in this field, with my right of gather- 
ing the firstfruits. 

Intemperance has for ages fixed the attention of 
observers. Philosophers have extolled temperance ; 
princes have made laws to limit expenses; and 
religion has preached at the love of good living. 
Alas ! they have not lessened the amount eaten by 
a single mouthful, and the art of eating too much 
becomes every day more flourishing. 

By striking out a new path I shall, perhaps, be 
more fortunate. I shall set forth the physical 
inconveniences of corpulence. The instinct of self- 
preservation may be more powerful than morality, 
more persuasive than sermonizing, and more effec- 
tive than the law. At any rate, the fair sex are, I 
believe, quite willing to open their eyes to the 

Corpulence is looked upon as an enemy by both 
sexes, because strength and beauty are both 

nience of injuriously affected by it. It injures the 

J^^^" strength by increasing the weight of the 


machine without increasing the motive 
power; and again, by impeding- the respiration, 
and so rendering impossible any labour which re- 
quires a sustained exertion of the muscular force. 
It injures the beauty by destroying the natural 
harmony of proportion, some parts being enlarged 


more than others, and still more by filling up 
depressions which nature had intended for showing 
the other features in relief. Hence it is an every- 
day occurrence to meet a face formerly most attrac- 
tive, and now by corpulence become almost insigni- 

The head of our late Empire was himself an 
instance. In his last campaigns he had grown very 
corpulent, his paleness becoming almost ghastly, 
and his eyes losing much of their fire. 

Two other notable instances of corpulence are 
Marius and, in modem times, John Sobieski. The 
former, being of short stature, became as broad as he 
was high ; and it was probably this disproportionate 
growth that frightened his Cimbrian executioner. 
As to the King of Poland, his corpulence very 
nearly cost him his life ; for having fallen amongst 
a troop of Turkish cavalry, before whom he was 
obliged to flee, he soon became short of breath, and 
would certainly have been slaughtered if several of 
his staff had not kept him up, almost fainting, on 
the saddle, whilst others were generously sacrificing 
themselves in order to hinder the enemy. 

If I am not mistaken, the Due de Vendome, that 
worthy son of the great Henry, also became very 
corpulent. Dying jn an inn, deserted by every- 
body, he remained conscious enough to perceive 


one of his people snatching the enshion from 
under his head^ even when about to utter his last 

With reference to instances of excessive corpu- 
lence, I shall confine myseK to a few remarks from 
my own observations. M. Kameau^ a school-fellow, 
-afterwards mayor of La Chaleur, in Burgundy, was 
only J&ve feet six inches high, yet he weighed 
five hundred pounds. The Due de Luynes, whom 
I have frequently met in company, became enor- 
mously large, his handsome features being quite 
disfigured by fat, and the last years of his life being 
spent in an almost uninterrupted sleep. 

But the most extraordinary instance I have seen 
was that of an inhabitant of New York, whom 
many of my readers must have seen sitting in the 
Broadway, on an enormous arm-chair with legs 
strong enough to bear a church. Edward was at 
least six feet four in height ; and, as his fat had 
swelled him out in every direction, he' was over 
oight feet at least in girth. His fingers were like 
those of the Eoman Emperor who used his wife's 
bracelets for rings ; his arms and thighs were 
cylindrical, as thick as the waist of an ordinary 
man ; and his feet like those of an elephant, covered 
with the overlapping fat of the legs. His lower 
eyelid was kept down by the weight of the fat on 


his cheeks ; but what made him more hideous than 
anything else was the three round chins of more 
than a foot long hanging over his breast, so that his 
face looked like the capital of a truncated pillar. 

He sat thus beside a window of a low room open- 
ing on the street, drinking from time to time a glass 
of ale, of which there was a huge pitcher always 

His singular appearance could not fail to attract 
the notice of the passers-by, but they had to be 
careful not to remain too long. Edward quickly 
sent them about their business, calling out, in his 
deep tones, "What are you staring at, like wild 
oats ? " — " Go on your way, you lazy body " — " Off 
with you, you good-for-nothing dogs." During 
several conversations I had with him, he assured 
me that' he was by no means unhappy, and that if 
death did not come to disturb his plans, he could 
willingly remain as he was to the end of the 

From all that has been advanced in this chapter, 
we must conclude that if corpulence is not Conolu- 
a disease, it is at least a troublesome in- ^^^^ 
disposition brought on mostly by our own fault. 
Another conclusion is that corpulence is a thing to 
be guarded against by those who are free of it, and 
got rid of by those who have it ; and it is in their 


favour that we now proceed to investigate the 
resources which science, aided by observation, 
presents to us. 




I COMMENCE with a fact which proves that corpu- 
lence can neither be prevented nor cured without 

M. Louis Greffulhe (afterwards Count) being 
threatened with corpulence, came to ask my advice, 
having heard that I had given attention to the 
subject. " On one condition," I said, " namely, that 
you promise on your word of honour to follow with 
the most rigid accuracy the rule of conduct which 
I prescribe." 

Having so pledged himself, I next day presented 
my list of rules — the first article being that he was 
to have himself weighed at the beginning and end 
of the treatment. At the end of a month he called 
upon me again, and gave me the result in the 
following terms. 

" I have followed your prescription as if my life 


depended upon it, and have ascertained that during 
the month I have lost three pounds and a little 
over. But to reach that result I have been obliged 
to do such violence to all my tastes, all my habits 
— in a word, I have suffered so much, that, whilst 
giving you my best thanks for your kind directions, 
I renounce any advantage resulting from them, and 
throw myself for the future entirely into the hands 
of Providence." 

After this resolution, which I did not hear with- 
out pain, the result was as might be expected: 
M. Greffulhe grew more and more corpulent, and 
after suffering , the inconveniences due to such a 
habit, had scarcely reached the age of forty when 
he died of suffocation. 

Every cure of corpulence must begin with these 
three maxims or absolute principles: dis- General 
cretion in eating, moderation in sleep, "^®^- 
exercise on foot or horseback. 

Now, firstly, much resolution is needed to leave 
the dinner-table with an appetite. Whilst the 
craving l£^ts, one morsel invites another with an 
irresistible attraction, and, as a general rule, men 
eat as long as they are hungry, in spite of doctors, 
and even by the example of the doctors. 

Secondly, to propose to any of our stout friends 
to rise early is the veriest cruelty. They will plead 


that their health does not allow of it; that when 
they get up early, they are good for nothing the 
rest of the day ; and if a lady, she will complain 
that it ruins the eyes. They will all agree to sit 
np late, but must have their morning snooze. Thus, 
then, the second resource is lost. 

Thirdly, exercise on horseback is an expensive 
cure, suitable neither for all incomes nor all con- 
ditions of life. Thus, if the patient be a pretty 
woman, she will gladly assent ; but on three con- 
ditions : that she may have a horse at once hand- 
some, spirited, and gentle; that she may have a 
riding-habit cut in the latest fashion ; and that she 
may have a good-natured and handsome fellow to 
act as her squire. 

Foot exercise also meets with a host of objections. 
It tires one to death; one is apt to perspire and 
catch pleurisy ; the dust ruins one's stockings, or 
the stones one's thin shoes ; and it is impossible to 
keep it up. 

Of all medical resources, the regimen or fixed 

diet is the first, because it acts continuously. 

Best (Jay and night, awake or asleep. Hence, 

remedy . . • i. x 

practi- smce, as was shown m a previous chapter, 
cally. j^Q usual and main cause of corpulence is 
the use of farinaceous food, we must conclude, as an 
exact consequence, that to abstain more or less 


rigorously from all that is floury and starchy tends 
to lessen corpulence. 

You like bread; then eat brown or rye bread. 
You are fond of soup ; have it a la julienne^ or 
with vegetables — bread, macaroni, and pea-soups 
being strictly forbidden. At the first course, all is 
at your service, with a few exceptions, such as rice 
boiled with poultry, and hot pastry; but at tie 
second course, all your philosophy will be needed. 
Avoiding the farinaceous, under whatever form it 
assumes, you will still have roast meat, salads, and 
vegetables; and as sweets cannot be entirely dis- 
pensed with, choose chocolate creams, flavoured 
jellies, and others of the same sort. 

Now comes dessert ; but if, so far, you have been 
virtuous, you can easily complete the good task. 
Be suspicious of cakes and similar trifles, and 
keep your eyes off biscuits and macaroons. There 
is still left you fruits of all kinds, preserves, besides 
other things which a knowledge of my principles 
will enable you to choose for yourself. 

After dinner I prescribe coffee, allowing you also 
a liqueur. I would also advise a cup of tea or a 
tumbler of punch, when opportunity offers. 

At breakfast, take brown bread as a matter of 
course, and chocolate rather than coffee. Strong 
coffee, however, with milk, may be conceded ; and 



other things at discretion, except eggs. One point 
to observe is, that you cannot breakfast too early. 

Hitherto I have, in a kind and paternal manner. 
Further prescribed for the evil when it threatens 
mftxims. ^ approach. A few precepts must be 
added for those who are already victims. 

Drink every summer thirty bottles of seltzer 
water ; a large tumbler the first thing in the morn- 
ing, two others before lunch, and the same at bed- 
time. Drink white wines, especially those that are 
light and acid, like that of Anjou, and avoid beer as 
you would the plague. Ask frequently for radishes, 
artichokes with hot sauce, asparagus, celery ; choose 
veal and fowl rather than beef and mutton; and 
eat as little of the crumb of bread as possible. 
When doubtful, take the advice of a doctor who 
follows my principles; and at whatever stage yon 
begin to adopt it, you will speedily improve in fresh- 
ness, good looks, activity, health, and general fitness^ 

There is a fatal doctrine prevalent amongst 
women that all acids, and especially vinegar, are 
useful for preventing stoutness. No doubt they 
cause leanness, but it is at the expense of the fresh- 
ness of youth, health, and life ; and to prove this 
statement of a truth which I think cannot be too 
widely known, I give an instance from my own. per- 
sonal observation. 


In 1776, when a student at Dijon, I formed an 
intimate acquaintance with a young lady, one of 
the prettiest girls I have ever known, and all the 
more from having that fulness of form, or classical 
embonpoint, which is one of the glories of the imita- 
tive arts. One evening I said to her, "My dear 
Louise, you are surely ill ; you look thinner ! " 
" Oh no ! " she replied, with a sort of melancholy 
smile ; " I am quite well, and if I am a little thinner, 
I can very well afford it." "Afford it!" said I, 
angrily, "there is no need for you being either 
thinner or stouter; keep as you are, a charming 
morsel," and other phrases of that sort suitable to a 
youth of twenty. 

Watching the young girl from that time, I soon 
saw a loss of colour, the cheeks becoming hollow, 
and her charms generally fading. Alas! what a 
frail and fleeting thing beauty is ! At last, meeting 
her at an evening party, she confessed to me that, 
after feeling annoyed by some of her companions 
making fun of her and saying that in two years she 
would be as fat as Saint Christopher, she had for 
the past month been drinking a glass of vinegar 
every morning. 

A shudder passed through me at this confession. 
I felt the extent of the danger, and next morning I 
told her mother, whose alarm was equal to mine, for 


she was dotingly fond of her daughter. No time was 
lost ; the best doctors were called, and consnltations 
held and remedies tned; but all too late — for at 
the age of eighteen Lonise fell asleep for eyermore. 

About a week after her death, her despairing 
mother begged me to accompany her in paying the 
last yisit to what remiuned of her daughter, and 
we saw with surprise that the face showed a sort of 
radiance, or ecstasy, which had not appeared pre- 
yiously. I was astonished, and the mother drew 
from it a favourable augury. .It is not, however, 
rare, and there is mention of it in Lavater's 
" Treatise on Physiognomy." 

Every system of treatment for the reduction of 
ITBeofa corpulence must be assisted by a contri- 
^^*- vance which should have been mentioned 

sooner ; to wit, the constant use, day and night, of a 
belt across the stomach. The patient is by no 
means condemned to carry it for a lifetime, but 
may lay it aside as soon as he has attained the 
desired limit.* 

From several observations it appears conclusive 
that quinine has some property powerfully 

Quinine* , 

opposed to the production of fat, and I 
therefore recommend the use of it to the corpulent. 

• * It was a saying of Mirabean's, referring to an excessively 
stent man, that God had only created him to show to what extent 
the human skin could be stretched without bursting.' 


Such axe the means with which I propose to 
combat an inconvenience as troublesome as it is 
common. I have adapted them to the weakness of 
humanity, such as we find it in the present state 
of society. 

For that purpose I have acted on that principle 
of experience, that the more rigorous any system of 
treatment is, the less is the effect produced, because 
followed badly or not at all. 

Few patients will make a great effort. Hence, if 
you wish your advice to be followed, you must pre- 
scribe only what is easy, or even, if possible, what 
is pleasant. 



When leanness is caused by the weakness or de- 
fective action of certain organs, it gives to the 
individual a mean and miserable look, and betrays 
the outline of the bony framework in all its angu- 
larity. I knew a young woman of average height 
who weighed only sixty-five pounds. 

Leanness is no great disadvantage for men, as it 
does not interfere with mere strength, and much 


assists the activity. Thus, the father of the yotmg 
lady just mentioned, although quite as lean as she, 
was strong enough to take a heavy chair by his 
teeth and throw it backwards over his head. 

For women, however, it is a frightful evil, for 
with them beauty is more than life, and beauty 
consists especially in the roundness of limb and 
figure, in the gracefully curved outline. The 
choicest of toilettes, the most artistic of dress- 
makers, cannot disguise certain deficiencies or con- 
ceal certain angles. 

Those who are destined to be lean have frequently 

small hands, aquiline nose, almond-shaped 

destined ©7^8, large mouth, a pointed chin, and 

to be brown hair. In the worst form of leanness 


the eyes are dead, the lips pale, and the 
looks generally betoken want of energy, weakness, 
and sickliness. One might almost say they look 
as if they were not completely made, or as if the 
lamp of life within them were not yet properly 

* Le flambeau de la vie — the torch of life — evidently a Bimival 
of the famous simile of Lucretius — 

quasi curaores vitai lampada tradunt, 

"where one generation, handing down Hhe lamp of life' to 
another, is compared to a runner in the Grecian torch-races, who 
had to carry a torch and give it over unextinguished to his 


Every woman who is thin would like to be stouter. 
This wish we have a thousand times heard The cupo 
the all-powerful sex give utterance to; developed, 
andy to pay them a last homage, we proceed to show 
how to replace, by the proper natural figure, those 
silk and cotton shapes which are seen in the 
windows of some fashionable shops, to the great 
scandal of the " unco guid," who turn away as much 
shocked as if the reality itself were presented to 
their eyes. 

The whole secret of gaining some fulness of 
figure lies in the proper choice of diet. What is 
needed is but to eat and select one's food. 

If you sleep much, that assists in making flesh ; 
if you sleep little, you will digest more quickly 
and therefore eat more. 

Let us now sketch one day's bill of fare for a 
young sylph, or other airy creature, who wishes to 
assume a more material form. First of all, make it 
a general rule to eat nothing but newly baked 
bread, especially the crumb, and plenty of it. 

In the morning, before leaving your room, take a 
small basin of soup, or a cup of good chocolate. At 
eleven o'clock, breakfast upon newly laid eggs, 
either beaten up or poached, and a pie or cutlet, or 
anything you can fancy ; the main point is to have 
eggs. A cup of coffee also will do no harm. 


After breakfast, yon must take some exercise. If 
yon don't care for the parksor gardens, pay a visit 
to your dressmaker, or go and see the newest 
bonnets and latest styles of cloaks and shawls, 
finishing off by calling on one or two of your friends 
to have a chat about what you have seen. 

At dinner, take as much soup, fish, and meat as 
you like, taking care not to omit any dish contain- 
ing rice or macaroni, also sweet pastry, " Charlottes," 
and so forth ; and during the dessert choose Savoy 
cakes, currant-tarts, and such like, containing flour, 
eggs, and sugar. 

In drinking, beer should be preferred, and if you 
must have wine, take Bordeaux, or some other from 
the sunny South. Shun acids, unless in salads, 
which gladden the heart; take sugar with your 
fruit, and eat as many grapes as you can. Never 
take baths too cold, or tire yourself dancing, but 
use your endeavours from time to time to breathe 
the pure air of the country. 

If this scheme be followed diligently and reso- 
lutely, the deficiencies of nature will soon be made 
good, the health will be improved as well as the 
beauty; and thus, pleasure being yielded by both, 
my professional ear will ring with accents of grati- 

Men fatten sheep, calves, oxen, poultry, carp. 


crayfish, oysters; and hence I derive the general 
maxii^i : — Whatever eats can he fattened, p'ovided 
the food is well and suitably chosen. 



Fasting consists in a voluntary abstinence from 
food, for some moral or religious purpose. The 
haHt has within my own recollection singularly 
fallen into desuetude; and, as it may serve for 
the edification, if not the conversion, of impious 
modems, I cannot refrain from sketching the 
ordinary life of fifty years ago. 

On ordinary days we breakfasted before nine 
upon bread, cheese, fruits, sometimes a pie or cold 
meat. Between twelve and one o'clock we dined, 
always beginning, as a matter of course, with soup, 
and followed by the meat boiled in it, supplemented 
by other dishes, according to one's income and 
other circumstances. About four there was a small 
snack for the use of children and those who prided 
themselves on adherence to old customs; about 
eight came supper, a meal of four or five courses. 


and then, after conversation and a game at cards, 
all went to bed. 

Let us now glance at what was done on the days 
of fasting. Butchers'-meat was forbidden ; we had 
no breakfast, and were consequently noLore hungry 
than usual. At the regular hour we dined as we 
best might ; but fish and vegetables only satisfy for 
the moment, and before five o'clock we were dying 
with hunger, some looking at their watches and 
trying to be patient, others working themselves into 
a passion, even when securing their soul's salvation. 
About eight o'clock we at length had, not a good 
supper, but " the collation," as it was termed (by a 
name borrowed from the self-denying monks), at 
which we could be served neither with butter, nor 
eggs, nor anything which had had life. We were 
fain, then, to take our fill of salad, preserves and 
fruits — aliments, alas ! by no means suited to the 
appetites of those times and circumstances ; but we 
exercised our souls in patience for the love of heaven, 
went to bed, and next morning, all throughout Lent, 
recommenced the same programme. 

For the relaxation of that rigorous observance 
many causes are assigned, the culminating one 
being the Kevolution. Still, it is a gross mistake to 
think that the new order of things has fostered 
intemperance, for the number of meals has been 


reduced, and drunkenness has disappeared to take 
refuge amongst the lowest classes of society. Wild 
orgies are now unheard of, and a man of sottish 
habits would be tabooed. 

Every day many thousand men attend the theatre 
or cafe^ who forty years ago would have spent the 
same time in the public-houses. Their m«inners are 
improved by the stage, and their minds instructed 
at the coffee-houses by reading newspapers ; and, in 
any case, they are saved from the fighting, the ill- 
health and the brutishness which seem inseparable 
&om the public-houses. 



By exhaustion we mean a state of weakness, languor, 
or sinking, which is caused by excess of work or 
loss of energy, and impedes the action of the vital 

For its treatment gastronomy is ever at hand to 
present her resources. To the man who has too 
long put a strain upon his muscular forces, she 
offers good soup, generous wine, cooked meat, and 
sleep. To the man of learning, who through love 


of his subject has been tempted to overtask his 
powers, she offers exercise in the open air to refresh 
his brain, a bath to relax the irritated nerves, fowl, 
vegetables, and repose. 

In death there is an absolute annihilation of the 
vital functions, which in exhaustion are only im- 
peded, the body being therefore abandoned to the 
laws of decomposition. 

Like other critical acts in human existence, death 
itseK is not unaccompanied by pleasure when it is 
natural; that is, when the body has duly passed 
through the different phases of growth : manhood, 
old age, and decrepitude. I might call to my aid 
the physicians who have noted through what imper- 
ceptible shades or gradations an animated body 
passes into the state of inert matter. I might quote 
philosophers, kings, men of letters, who, on the 
confines of eternity, far from being a prey to grief, 
had their minds filled with pleasant thoughts, some- 
times enhanced by the charm of poetry. I might 
bring to mind that reply of the dying Fontenelle, 
who, being asked what he felt, said, " Nothing but a 
difficulty of living." The following is one gf the 
instances on which I base my conviction. 

I had a grand-aunt of ninety-three years old, who 
was dying. Though for some time confined to her 
bed, she had all her faculties, and it was only by 


tho loss of appetite and weakening of her voice 
that her real state could be seen. She had always 
shown great affection for me, and I was by her bed- 
side ready to wait tenderly upon her, at the same 
time taking observations with that philosophic eye 
with which I have always scanned all that happens 
around me. 

" Art thou by me ? " said she, in a voice scarcely 
intelligible. "Yes, aunt; can I do anything for 
you ? I think a little wine would do you good." 
^* Let me try then, my boy ; a liquid will always go 

I got it as quickly as I could, and lifting her 
gently, made her swallow half a glass of my best 
wine. She instantly revived, and, turning upon me 
eyes that had been very handsome, said, " I thank 
you kindly for this last good turn; if ever you 
reach my age, you will see that death becomes a 
want, just like sleep." 

These were her last words, and half an hour after-* 
wards she had fallen asleep for ever. 


Cookery is not only the most ancient of the arts, 


but it has rendered more important services to 
society than any other. For it was by the prepara- 
tion of his food that man learned how to use fire, 
and it is by fire that he has subdued nature. 
.^ Man is an omniyorous animal; he has 

Man as aa ' 

eating incisive teeth to divide fruits, molars to 
grind grains, and dog-teeth to tear flesh. 

It is extremely probable that the species was for 
a long time necessarily fruit-eating, being inferior 
to the other animals, and but poorly provided with 
means of attack. Inborn instinct of self-improve- 
ment, however, became speedily developed, and the 
very consciousness of weakness suggested the use 
of arms, to which he was also urged by his car- 
nivorous instinct ; and as soon as he was armed, the 
animals around him became his prey and his food. 

There are still traces of this instinct of destruc- 
tion. Infants are almost certain to kill any little 
animals over which they have full power, and would 
no doubt eat them if hungry. 

Eaw flesh has only one inconvenience: it sticks to 




the teeth ; otherwise, it is not at all unpleasant to 
taste. Seasoned with a little salt, it is easily 
digested, and must be at least as nourishing as any 

Dining with a captain of Croats in 1815, " Gad," 
said he, " there's no need of so much fuss in order 
to have a good dinner ! When we are on scout duty y 

and feel hungry, we shoot down the first beast that *- 

comes in our way, and cutting out a good thick 
slice, we sprinkle some salt over it, place it be- 
tween the saddle and the horse's back, set off at the \ 
gallop for a sufficent time, and " (working his jaws 
like a man eating large mouthfuls) ^^gniaw^ gniaw^ 
gniaWy we have a dinner fit for a prince.'* 

Similarly, when sportsmen in Dauphine go out 
shooting in September, they are provided with pep- 
per and salt, and if one kills a fig-pecker, he plucks 
and seasons it, carries it for some time in his cap^ 
and then eats it. They declare that these birds> ' 
when so dressed, eat better than if roasted. 

Moreover, if our great-grandfathers ate their food 
raw, we have not yet entirely given up the habit. 
The most delicate palate will make shift very com- 
fortably with Aries sausages, or those of Italy,, 
smoked beef of Hamburg, anchovies, pickled her- 
rings, and other things of that sort, which have never 
seen the fire, and yet provoke appetite none the less. 


As soon as fire was known, being discovered by 
Earliest chance, the instinct of self-improvement 
cookery, caused it to be used in preparing food, 
first of all, by roasting on hot embers. Thus was 
imparted a savoury flavour, which continues still to 
be attractive. Afterwards, skewers were used to 
hold the meat above the embers, being supported 
on each side by stones of a suitable height; an 
improvement which in due time suggested the art 
of grilling or broiling. 

Things were scarcely ftirther advanced than this 
in the time of Homer; and I trust it will be a 
pleasure at this stage to read how Achilles enter- 
tained in his tent three of the principal Grecian 
chiefs, one a king. I recommend the passage to my 
lady readers especially, because Achilles was the 
most handsome of the Greeks, and was not too 
proud to shed tears when deprived by force of the 
fair Briseis. 

" Son of Menoetius, set upon tlie "board 
A larger bowl, and stronger mix the "wine, 
And serve a cup to each : beneath my roof 
This night my dearest friends I entertain,** 
He said ; Patroclus his commands obeyed ; 
Meantime Achilles in the fire-light placed, 
Upon an ample tray, a saddle each 
Of sheep and goat ; and with them, rich in fat, 
A chine of well-fed hog ; then from the joints, 
Held by Automedon, cut off the meat. 
And dressed with care, and fastened round the spits : 




Patroclus kindled then a blazing fire : 

And when the fire burnt down, and when the flame 

Subsided, spread the glowing embers out, 

And hung the spits above ; then sprinkled o'er 

The meat with salt, and lifted from the stand 

The viands cooked and placed upon the board ; 

From baskets fair Patroclus portioned out 

The bread to each ; the meat Achilles shared. 

Facing the sage Ulysses, sat the host 

Against the other wall ; and bade his friend, 

Patroclus, give the Gods their honour due : 

He in the fire the wonted offerings burnt : 

They to- the food prepared their hands addressed : 

But when their thirst and hunger were appeased 

Ajax to Phoenix signed : Ulysses saw 

The sign, and rising, filled a cup with wine. 

And pledged Achilles thus : " To thee I drink, 

Achilles ! Nobly is thy table spread. 

As heretofore in Agamemnon's tent, 

So now in thine ; abundant is the feast." 

Lord Derby's Iliad of Horner^ ix. 238. 

Thus a king, a king's son, and three Grecian 
chiefs made a good dinner npon broiled flesh, with 
bread and wine. That Achilles and Patroclus should 
themselves have part in preparing the banquet, was, 
no doubt, exceptional, and in order to do greater 
honour to their distinguished guests. For in the 
" Odyssey " Homer describes the duties of dressing 
food as usually devolving upon the women and 

During the same epoch, and doubtless long before, 
poetry and music were associated with the pleasures 
of the table. Ancient minstrels celebrated the mar- 

-^ I 


vels of nature, the loves of the godg, and the noble 
deeds of warriors. Such bards formed a sort of 
priesthood, under some of whom the divine Homer 
himself was probably trained. He could not have 
risen to such eminence had his poetical studies 
not begun in early youth. 

Madame Dacier observes that Homer never makes 
any mention of boiled meat in any part of his works. 
The Jews were more advanced, on account of having 
lived for a considerable time in Egypt; they had 
vessels to stand fire, and it was in some such pot 
that the soup was made which Jacob sold so dear 
to his brother Esau. 

The most ancient books extant make honourable 
Eastern mention of the feasts of oriental kings, 
banquets. Xni WO may easily believe that those 
who ruled over countries so abundantly fertile, 
especially in spices and perfumes, kept sumptuous 
tables. Details, however, are wanting, excepting 
the statement that Cadmus, who taught Greece 
the use of letters, had been cook to the King of 

It was amongst those voluptuous and effemi- 
nate races that the custom was first introduced of 
putting couches round the banqueting-table and 
lying down to eat. This refinement, being obviously 
akin to weakness, was long rejected by those nations 


who held strength and courage in especial honour, 
or who esteemed frugality a virtue. It came 
to be adopted, however, in Athens, and at last 
was the general custom throughout the civilized 

Cookery and its pleasures were in great repute 
among the Athenians, a people of elegant Grecian 
taste and eager for novelty. Kings, pri- t^a^q^ets* 
vate men of wealth, poets, and men of science gave 
the example ; and even the philosophers believed 
it a duty to share the enjoyments drawn from the 
bosom of nature. 

From what we read in the ancient authors, there 
is no doubt their feasts were held in grand style. 
For the objects then procured for the table by 
hunting, fishing, and commerce, there was such 
demand that the prices were frequently excessive. 
The arts rivalled each other for the adornment of the 
table, around which were disposed the guests on 
couches covered with purple. The songs introduced 
during the third course gradually lost the rude sim- 
plicity they at first bore, and, instead of gods and 
heroes, they sometimes sang of friendship, happiness, 
and love, with a sweetness and harmony not to be 
Approached by our hard, dry modem tongues. 

The wines of Greece, still reckoned excellent, were 
classified by the gastronomers, ranging from the 


sweet wines to the most famous; and at certain 
banquets it was the custom, contrary to that of 
modem days, to have the glasses larger in propor- 
tion as the wine was better. 

In those assemblies, where sensuous and sesthetic 
enjoyment were combined, an important element was 
the presence of the most beautiful women. Dances, 
games, and amusements of very sort, prolonged the 
pleasures of the evening. They breathed pleasure 
at every pore, and many an Aristippus, arriving 
under the banner of Plato, retired as a follower of 

Their learned showed their good-will by writing 
on an art so conducive to pleasure; and though, 
alas ! those works are lost, their names are preserved 
by Plato, AthensBus, and others. Most of all must 
we regret the poem on gastronomy by Arche- 
stratus, a friend of one of Pericles* sons. "This 
great writer," we are told, " had traversed sea and 
land to make acquaintance with the best things 
they produced. During his travels, he did not 
make inquiry into the manners of nations, since 
they always remain the same, but going into the 
laboratories where the delicacies of the table are 
prepared, he only held intercoui'se with those who 
could advance his pleasures. His poem is a 
treasure of science, and every line a precept." 



Good living was unknown to the Eomans, so long 
as they were engaged in fighting for ^ ^ , 
independence or subduing their neigh- among the 
bouTs; remaining so till their conquests 
were extended to Africa, Sicily, and Greece. 

They frequented Athens for the study of polite 
literature and philosophy, and with refinement 
of mannei's they learned the pleasures of the 
Grecian banquets. Thus cooks flocked to Kome, 
as well as orators, philosophers, rhetoricians, and 

When, by the progress of time and the universal 
success of the arms of Kome, the wealth of the whole 
world was poured into her treasury, the luxury of 
the table was incredibly increased. They ate of 
everything, from the locust to the ostrich, from the 
dormouse to the wild-boar. All that could provoke 
the palate w^as tried as seasoning or relish, some 
being substances of which we cannot imagine the use, 
such as assafoetida, rue, and so forth. Laying every 
known country under contribution, they brought 
guinea-fowls and truffles from Africa, rabbits from 
Spain, pheasants from Greece, where they had been 
imported from the banks of the Phasis, and peacocks 
from the remotest countries of Asia. 

A great ambition among the wealthy Komans 
was to have beautiful gardens, in which they culti- 


voted not only the fruits already known — snch as 
pearSy apples, figs, grapes — but also foreign ones, 
especially the apricot from Armenia, the peach 
from Persia, the quince from Sidon, the strawberry 
from the valleys of Mount Ida, and the cherry — ^the 
conquest of Lucullus in Fontus. 

Amongst comestibles, fish was an especial object 
of luxury. Those of distant countries were brought 
in pots of honey. 

Nor did the Eomans bestow less care and atten- 
tion in the choice of their wines, those of Greece, 
Sicily, and Italy being especial favourites. To give 
the wine more piquancy and flavour, they some- 
times infused flowers, scents, and various drugs into 
it, and that to such an extent, that some of their 
recipes must have burned the mouth and violently 
irritated the stomach. 

It was in the accessories, however, that this 
gigantic luxury was shown most wildly. The 
number of courses gradually increased to twenty, or 
even more. For each detail of the service, slaves 
were specially appointed, with their various duties 
minutely distinguished. The most precious per- 
fumes embalmed the banqueting-hall. Dishes 
worthy of special attention had their name and 
quality ceremoniously proclaimed. In short, no- 
thing was omitted which could whet the appetite. 


keep alive the guests' attention, or prolong the 

Sometimes this luxury assumed an absurd or 
grotesque form. Such were those banquets where 
the fish and birds served were counted by thou- 
sands ; or those dishes whose sole merit was their 
cost, as the dish composed of the brains of five 
hundred ostriches ; or that other in which were seen 
the tongues of five thousand singing-birds. 

From the preceding, it is easy to explain the 
enormous sums which LucuUus spent in dinners, 
and his expensive entertainments in the hall of 
Apollo, where it was a point of honour to exhaust 
every known means of gratifying his guests' appe- 

There might be before our own eyes a reriaissanee 
of those glorious days, and a renewal of j^^^^gQ. 
their marvels, if only we had the Lucullus. tion of 

- . LucuUus* 

Let us suppose that some man who is 
powerfully wealthy wished to celebrate an event of 
importance in the political or financial world, and 
gave a banquet in honour of the occasion, quite 
regardless of expense. 

Let us suppose that he summons all the arts to 
adorn the place of the festival in all its details and 
surroundings, and that the caterers be ordered to 
exhaust all the resources of gastronomic science 


in providing good fare, and for the guests' drink 
to ransack the best cellars for the finest wine ; 
that during the banquet music be heard, per- 
formed by the most skilful singers and players; 
that, as an interlude between dinner and coffee^ 
there be a ballet by all the prettiest and most 
graceful dancers of the Opera; that the evening 
close with a ball in which are brought together two 
hundred of the finest women and four hundred 
of the most elegant dancers; that the buffet be 
well supplied with the best drinks, hot or 
cold, or iced; that about midnight there should 
appear an artistic collation, to impart new activity ; 
that the attendants be handsome and well-dressed ; 
the lighting of the rooms perfect; and, finally, 
that the Amphitryon should have arranged for 
everybody to be sent for before the entertain- 
ment, and comfortiibly taken home again at the 

All who know Paris will agree with me that were 
such a banquet properly organized, conducted, and 
completed, the sum total of next day's bills for 
expenses might very well startle even the treasurer 
of LucuUus. 

The couches or sofas on which the Eomans lay 

when dining were at first only benches 

from a covcred with skins and stuffed with straw; 


but at the time just referred to they shared couch or 
in the luxury which , had overwhelmed 
everything connected with feasting. They were 
made of the most precious woods, inlaid with gold^ 
ivory, and sometimes jewels ; with cushions of the 
softest down, covered with magnificently embroi- 
dered rugs. 

The reclining posture must, in my opinion, have 
been awkward and uncomfortable. Thus, in drink- 
ing, it must have required special care ta avoid 
spilling the wine from the wide-mouthed goblets 
that shone on the tables of the great. It was the 
leciistemivm period, doubtless, that gave rise to 
the proverb — 

" There's many a slip 
'Tween the cup and the lip.** 

Nor could eating have been a cleanly operation 
in such a posture, especially when we consider 
that many of the guests wore long beards, and that 
the food was conveyed to the mouth by a knife, if 
not by the fingers — for the use of forks is modern, 
none having been foimd in the ruins of Hercula- 

During the period we have been describing, 
convivial poetry underwent a new modifi- p^^^ 
cation, assuming, in the verses of Horace, and the 
Tibullus, and other writers of the day, a 


languor and effeminacy unknown to the Grecian 

Pande, pueUa, pande capillulos 
FlaYOs lucentes ut anrum nitidnm ; 
Pande, pneUa, coUom candidum 
Prodactam bene candidis homeris. 




The five or six centuries which we have just 
Gothic reviewed in the preceding pages form the 
invasion, golden age of cookery, but, by the arrival, 
or rather, irruption, of the northern races, all was 
changed, everything was turned upside down: to 
those days of glory succeeded prolonged and fright- 
ful darkness. 

At the appearance of those barbarians, the 
alimentary art disappeared with the other sciences, 
of which it is the companion and the comfort. 
Most of the cooks were massacred in the palaces 
where they were servants ; others fled rather than 
regale their country's tyrants ; and a small number 
who came to offer their services were affronted by 


being refused. Those savage mouths, those hot 
throats, were insensible to the merits of refined 
dishes. Huge quarters of beef and venison, un- 
limited supplies of the strongest drink, were all 
they wanted to make them happy; and as they 
always wore arms, nearly every feast degenerated 
into an orgie and was followed by bloodshed. 

A reaction setting in, there were gradual im- 
provements, especially under Charlemagne, whoso 
capitularies prove that he personally interested 
himseK in the management of his table. In the 
eighth and ninth centuries, banquets assumed a 
gallant and chivalrous aspect; the ladies came to 
embellish the court, and distribute the rewards of 
valour, and one might see placed on the tables of 
princes the pheasant with gilded claws and the 
peacock with expanded tail, brought in by gold- 
bespangled pages or gentle maidens, as innocent as 
they were amiable. 

Women, even those of highest station, took part 
in the preparation of food, and thought such cares 
were included in the duties of hospitality. Under 
their fair hands some of the dishes were strangely 
disguised : the eel having a forked tongue like a 
serpent, the hare with the ears of a cat, and other 
similar comicalities. They made much use of the 
spices then first brought from the East by the 


Venetians, as well as the scented water supplied by 
the Arabians ; so much so, that fish was sometimes 
cooked in rose-water. In short, from the care 
bestowed by the ladies of France upon the art of 
cooking, we must conclude that to them is due the 
indisputable pre-eminence which French gastronomy 
has always enjoyed. 

In abbeys, convents, and other religious houses, 
there was never lack of good cheer, because the 
wealth of these establishments was less exposed to 
the chances and dangers of our desolating civil wars. 

In the mean time, gastronomic art was slowly 
extending. The Crusaders presented her with a 
plant plucked from the plains of Ascalon — the 
garlic; parsley was imported from Italy. Pastry- 
cooks made such advance that the products of 
their industry held an honourable place in every 
feast ; and even before the time of Charles IX. they 
formed a considerable corporation, for we find that 
prince investing it with certain privileges. 

About the middle of the seventeenth century, 
coflTee was introduced into Europe by the Dutch, who 
had first been taught to drink it by Soliman Aga, a 
powerful Turk of great repute amongst our great- 
great-grandfathers. In 1670 it was sold at the 
fair of Saint Germain by an American; and the 
first Parisian cafe was in Rue St.-Andre-des-Arcs, 


with mirrors and marble tables, exactly like those of 
our own days. 

Then, also, the age of sugar was beginning to 
dawn, and from Scarron complaining that his stingy 
eister had got the holes of his sugar-box made 
smaller, we learn at least that such a thing was 
commonly known in households. 

It was during the same period that brandy 
began to be used, though it was not drunk by the 
people till the reign of Louis XV. 

Under the brilliant reign of Louis XIV., the 
science of banquetinff received, in common ^ . . 

^ ^ Loms the 

with the other sciences, great progressive Magnifi- 
impulse. Men still retain some memory of 
those festivals which all Europe went to see, and 
those tournaments where, for the last time, shone 
the lances which the bayonet has so uncivilly re- 
placed, and those knightly suits of armour, feeble 
resources against the brutality of the cannon. 

The festivals ended with sumptuous banquets 
as the crowning part of the entertainment. And 
on such important occasions were first displayed 
the magnificence of huge centre-pieces, which, by 
the union of painting and sculpture with the gold- 
smith's art, formed a beautiful group, the designs 
being sometimes suited to the circumstances or the 
hero of the festival. 


Towards the end of the reign, the name of any 
famous cook was very often written beside that of 
his patron, the latter, in fact, being generally 
proud of the former. This combination is unknown 
in these days; we are as fond of good living as 
our ancestors, but interest ourselves much less about 
him who reigns in the lower regions, and probably 
a nod is the only tribute of admiration paid to the 
artist who enchants us. 

It was for Louis XIV. that the epine Wete — ^^ the 
good pear," as he called it — was brought from the 
Levant, and it is to his aged weakness that we owe the 
" liqueurs." For, feeling sometimes the difiSculty of 
living which often appears after sixty, they made 
him a cordial by mixing brandy with sugar and 
scents — the germ of the art of the modem liquoriste. 

It should be remarked that about the same time 
the culinary art flourished in the English Court* 
Queen Anne was fond of good cheer, and deigned to 
consult her cook. English cookery-books still con- 
tain dishes with the qualification, "after Queen 
Anne's fashion." 

Stationary under the sway of Madame de Main- 
Under the tenon, gastronomy began again under the- 
Begent. Eegency to advance and improve. The 
Due d'Orleans, a man of sense and humour, a 
prince worthy to have friends, treated them to 


dinners, combining art with refinement. On the 
best authority, I have been told that among the 
more special dishes were piques of superlative deli- 
cacy, matelotes of the most tempting quality, and 
turkeys superbly stuffed. 

The reign of Louis XV. was equally favourable 
to the alimentary art. The wealth created Eeign of 
by industry during eighteen years of peace, ^^^^ ■^^• 
and distributed by commerce, helped much to con- 
ceal the inequality of fortunes, and a spirit of 
conviviality was diffused amongst all classes of 
society. From this epoch we may date* the obser- 
vance of order, neatness, and elegance, as essentials 
in a well-ordered meal. 

It is easy to entertain a large company of healthy 
appetites ; with plenty of meat, venison, game, and 
some large pieces of fish, a feast for sixty is soon 
ready. But to please mouths that only open in 
affectation, to tempt women full of fancies, to excite 

* It was at the petits soupers de CJioisy of Louis XV. that the 
idbles volantes were first introduced. Those * admirable pieces of 
mechanism/ as they are called by a distinguished gastronome, 
the poet Rogers, consisted of a table and sideboard, which, at a 
signal, descended through the floor, to be immediately replaced by 
others which rose covered with a fresh course. 

His singular proficiency in the art of cookery, one of the few 
redeeming features in this worthless monarch's character, was 
derived, like his taste for working tapestry, from his youthful 
companions, the Duk^s of Epemon and La Tremouille and 
De Gesvres. 



Towards the end of the reign, the name of any 
famous cook was very often written beside that of 
his patron, the latter, in fact, being generally 
proud of the former. This combination is unknown 
in these days; we are as fond of good living as 
our ancestors, but interest ourselves much less about 
him who reigns in the lower regions, and probably 
a nod is the only tribute of admiration paid to the 
artist who enchants us. 

It was for Louis XIV. that the e^ne cPete — ^^ the 
good pear," as he called it — was brought from the 
Levant, and it is to his aged weakness that we owe the 
" liqueurs." For, feeling sometimes the difiSculty of 
living which often appears after sixty, they made 
him a cordial by mixing brandy with sugar and 
scents — the germ of the art of the modern liquoriste. 

It should be remarked that about the same time 
the culinary art flourished in the English Court* 
Queen Anne was fond of good cheer, and deigned to 
consult her cook. English cookery-books still con- 
tain dishes with the qualification, "after Queen 
Anne's fashion." 

Stationary under the sway of Madame de Main* 
Under the tenon, gastronomy began again under the- 
Begent. Regency to advance and improve. The 
Due d'Orleans, a man of sense and humour, a 
prince worthy to have friends, treated them to 


dinners, combining art with refinement. On the 
best authority, I have been told that among the 
more special dishes were piques of superlative deli- 
cacy, matelotes of the most tempting quality, and 
turkeys superbly stuffed. 

The reign of Louis XV. was equally favourable 
to the alimentary art. The wealth created Reign of 
by industry during eighteen years of peace, ^^"^ ■^'^• 
and distributed by commerce, helped much to con- 
ceal the inequality of fortunes, and a spirit of 
conviviality was diffused amongst all classes of 
society. From this epoch we may date* the obser- 
vance of order, neatness, and elegance, as essentials 
in a well-ordered meal. 

It is easy to entertain a large company of healthy 
appetites ; with plenty of meat, venison, game, and 
some large pieces of fish, a feast for sixty is soon 
ready. But to please mouths that only open in 
affectation, to tempt women full of fancies, to excite 

* It was at the jyetits soupers de Clioisy of Lonis XV. that the 
tables volantes were first introduced. Those * admirable pieces of 
mechanism/ as they are called by a distinguished gastronome, 
the poet Bogers, consisted of a table and sideboard, which, at a 
signal, descended through the floor, to be immediately replaced by 
others which rose covered with a fresh course. 

His singular proficiency in the art of cookery, one of the few 
redeeming features in this worthless monarch's character, was 
derived, like his taste for working tapestry, from his youthful 
companions, the Dukes of Epemon and La Tremouille and 
De Gesvres. 




Towards the end of the reign, the name of any 
famous cook was very often written beside that of 
his patron, the latter, in fact, being generally 
proud of the former. This combination is unknown 
in these days; we are as fond of good living a» 
our ancestors, but interest ourselves much less about 
him who reigns in the lower regions, and probably 
a nod is the only tribute of admiration paid to the 
artist who enchants us. 

It was for Louis XIV. that the S^ne Wete — ^^ the 
good pear," as he called it — ^was brought from the 
Levant, and it is to his aged weakness that we owe the 
" liqueurs." For, feeling sometimes the difficulty of 
living which often appears after sixty, they made 
him a cordial by mixing brandy with sugar and 
scents — the germ of the art of the modern liquoriste* 

It should be remarked that about the same time 
the culinary art flourished in the English Court* 
Queen Anne was fond of good cheer, and deigned ta 
consult her cook. English cookery-books still con- 
tain dishes with the qualification, "after Queen 
Anne's fashion," 

Stationary under the sway of Madame de Main* 
Under the tenon, gastronomy began again under the 
Begent. Eegency to advance and improve. The 
Due d'Orleans, a man of sense and humour, a 
prince worthy to have friends, treated them to 


dinners, combining art with refinement. On the 
best authority, I have been told that among the 
more special dishes were piques of superlative deli- 
cacy, matelotes oi the most tempting quality, and 
turkeys superbly stuffed. 

The reign of Louis XV. was equally favourable 
to the alimentary art. The wealth created Reign of 
by industry during eighteen years of peace, -^^"^ ■^'^• 
and distributed by commerce, helped much to con- 
ceal the inequality of fortunes, and a spirit of 
conviviality was diffused amongst all classes of 
society. From this epoch we may date* the obser- 
vance of order, neatness, and elegance, as essentials 
in a well-ordered meal. 

It is easy to entertain a large company of healthy 
appetites ; with plenty of meat, venison, game, and 
some large pieces of fish, a feast for sixty is soon 
ready. But to please mouths that only open in 
affectation, to tempt women full of fancies, to excite 

* It was at the j)eUU eoupers de Clioisy of Lonis XV. that the 
tables volantes were first introduced. Those * admirable pieces of 
mechanism/ as they are called by a distinguished gastronome, 
the poet Rogers, consisted of a table and sideboard, which, at a 
signal, descended through the floor, to be immediately replaced by 
others which rose covered with a fresh course. 

His singular proficiency in the art of cookery, one of the few 
redeeming features in this worthless monarch's character, was 
derived, like his taste for working tapestry, from his youthful 
companions, the Dukes of Epemon and La Tr^mouille and 
De Gesvres. 



Towards the end of the reign, the name of any 
famous cook was very often written beside that of 
his patron, the latter, in fact, being generally 
proud of the former. This combination is unknown 
in these days; we are as fond of good living aa 
our ancestors, but interest ourselves much less about 
him who reigns in the lower regions, and probably 
a nod is the only tribute of admiration paid to the 
artist who enchants us. 

It was for Louis XIV. that the epine d'ete — ^^ the 
good pear," as he called it — was brought from the 
Levant, and it is to his aged weakness that we owe the 
" liqueurs." For, feeling sometimes the diflBculty of 
living which often appears after sixty, they made 
him a cordial by mixing brandy with sugar and 
scents — the germ of the art of the modern liquoriste. 

It should be remarked that about the same time 
the culinary art flourished in the English Courts 
Queen Anne was fond of good cheer, and deigned to 
consult her cook. English cookery-books still con- 
tain dishes with the qualification, "after Queen 
Anne's fashion." 

Stationary under the sway oi Madame de Main- 
TJnder the tenon, gastronomy began again under the 
Begent. Eegency to advance and improve. The 
Due d'Orleans, a man of sense and humour, a 
prince worthy to have friends, treated them te 


dinners, combining art with refinement. On the 
best authority, I have been told that among the 
more special dishes were piques of superlative deli- 
cacy, matelotes of the most tempting quality, and 
turkeys superbly stuffed. 

The reign of Louis XV. was equally favourable 
to the alimentary art. The wealth created Reign of 
by industry during eighteen years of peace, -^^^^ ■^'^• 
and distributed by commerce, helped much to con- 
ceal the inequality of fortunes, and a spirit of 
conviviality was diffused amongst all classes of 
society. From this epoch we may date* the obser- 
vance of order, neatness, and elegance, as essentials 
in a well-ordered meal. 

It is easy to entertain a large company of healthy 
appetites ; with plenty of meat, venison, game, and 
some large pieces of fish, a feast for sixty is soon 
ready. But to please mouths that only open in 
affectation, to tempt women full of fancies, to excite 

* It was at the ^petits soupers de Choisy of Lonis XV. that the 
iahles volantes were first introduced. Those ' admirable pieces of 
mechanism,' as they are called by a distinguished gastronome, 
the poet Bogers, consisted of a table and sideboard, which, at a 
signal, descended through the floor, to be immediately replaced by 
others which rose covered with a fresh course. 

His singular proficiency in the art of cookery, one of the few 
redeeming features in this worthless monarch's characteri was 
derived, like his taste for working tapestry, from his youthful 
companions, the Dukes of Epemon and La Trt^mouille and 
De Gesvres. 



stomachs of papier macMy or rouse an appetite 
which is ever flickering in the socket, would require 
more genius, insight, and labour than the resolu- 
tion of one of the most difficult problems of the 
Geometry of the Infinite.* 

Under Louis XVI. there was a constant increase 
Louis tho i^ ^ *^® occupations relating to the pre- 
Bixteenth. paration or sale of food — such as cooks, 
traiteurSy pastrycooks, confectioners, eating-houses, 
and so forth — ^and there is evidence that the in- 
crease was only in proportion to the actual de- 
mand. The art of preserving food of different 
kinds also became a distinct profession, with tho 
object of presenting us all the year round with 
the various substances which are peculiar to each 

Gardening also began to make great progress, 
continuing to our own days. Hothouses have put 
before us the fruits of the tropics ; different kinds 

* * According to information which I have gathered in several 
departments, a dinner for ten was, about the year 1740, composed 
as follows : — 

* First Course : — Soup, followed by tho houilli ; an entrde of real 

cooked in its gravy ; a side-dish. 
' Second Course : — A turkey ; a dish of vegetables ; a salad ; 

and sometimes a cream. 
^Dessert: — Cheese; fruit; sweets. 

Plates were changed only thrice — after the ^oup, at tho second 
course, and at dessert. Coffee was rarely served, but they 
frequently had a cherry-brandy or some similar preparatioD.' 


of vegetables have been gained by culture or im- 
portation ; and amongst others the cantaloup melon, 
which, in spite of the proverb, "Good melons are 
rare ; before you find one you'll have to try fifty," 
only produces good fruit. 

The wines of all countries have been grown, 
imported, and presented in due form — Madeira to 
open the trenches, the wines of France during the 
dinner, and those of Spain and Africa to crown the 

Amongst recent improvements is the distinction 
of good living from gluttony or guzzling. It is now 
looked upon as a bias or liking which one need not 
be ashamed of, as a social quality agreeable to the 
host, useful to the guest, and advantageous to 
science. In short, the gastronome is ranked with 
the connoisseurs or lovers of the fine arts,* 

* But for the reign of Louis XVIII. being so recent, our author 
would probably have referred to his qualities as a gastronome. 
In these he as certainly equalled Louis the Magnificent and his 
worthless successor, as he surpassed them intellectually and 
morally. His most famous maitre d^hotel was the Due d'Escars, of 
whom a Quarterly Reviewer says that, when he and his royal master 
were closeted together to meditate a dish, the Ministers of State 
were kept waiting in the antechamber, and the next day the 
official announcement regularly appeared — *il|". le Duo d'Uscars 
<i travaille dana le cdbineV 

The king had invented the truffes a la jmr^e d^ortolanSf and 
invariably prepared it himself, assisted by the duke. On one 
occasion they had jointly composed a dish of more than ordinary 
ilimensions, and duly consumed the whole of it. In the middle of 


One of the most recent creations in the develop- 
ment of gastronomy is the political banquet. It is 
given with the object of bringing some influence to 
bear directly on a large number of wills, the main 
requisite being abundance of good cheer, although 
it is generally lost upon the guests. Positive enjoy- 
ment, moreover, has but a very small share in such 
aji entertainment. 

At last the restaurants appeared — ^an entirely new 
institution which has by no means received the 
attention it merits, and must therefore be separately 



About the year 1770, after the glorious days of 
Louis XIV., the wild dissipation of the Kegency, and 
the long tranquillity under the ministry of Cardinal 

the night the duke was seized with a fit of indigestion, and his 
case was declared hopeless ; loyal to the last, he ordered an atten- 
dant to wake and inform the king, who might be -exposed to a 
similar attack. His majesty was ronsed accordingly, and told that 
d'Escars was dying of his invention. " Dying I " exclaimed Louis 
le Desire'; "dying of my truffes u la pur^e f I was right then; I 
always said that I had the better stomach of the two." 


Fleury, travellers arriving at Paris found its re- 
sources very poor in respect of good cheer. 

At last there was found a man of thought who 
formed for himself the conclusions that the same 
want being constantly reproduced every day about 
the same time, consumers would crowd to any place 
where they were sure the want would be agreeably 
satisfied ; that if the wing of a fowl were detached 
in favour of the first comer, a second would be sure 
to present himself who would be satisfied with the 
thigh; that the excision of a choice slice in the 
obscurity of the kitchen would not dishonour the 
remainder of the joint; that on having a good 
dinner served promptly and neatly, no man would 
grudge a small increase in the charges; and that 
if the guests were to discuss the price or quality of 
the dishes ordered, there would be no end to it 
amongst so many details, and therefore there should 
be a fixed scale of charges ; and, besides, that the 
combination of great variety of dishes with fixity of 
prices would have the advantage of being suitable 
to all fortunes. 

Numerous advantages flow from the use of restau- 
rants, an institution in which all Europe has . , 
imitated Paris. Thus, every man can dine tages of 
when and how he chooses, according to tamant! 
the demands of business or pleasure ; and 


having beforehand made his rectoning according to 
the length of his purse, makes a hearty meal — sub- 
stantial, or refined, or dainty, as his special tastes- 
may incline — washes it down with the best wines, 
aromatizes it with mocha, and perfumes it with a 
&TOurite liqueur, the only restrictions being the 
vigour of his appetite or the capacity of his 
stomach. The Parisian dining-room is the para- 
dise of a gastronomer. 

Every man who has twenty francs at command 
can take a seat at the table of a first-class restau- 
rant, and will be at least as well served as at the 
table of a prince. 

When the philosophic eye scans the details of a 
Glance public dining-room, the action and variety 

round a Qf j^q groups present much that is interest- 
room in ing. The background is occupied by the 

Pans. Tegular diners, who give their orders 
loudly, wait impatiently, eat hurriedly, pay, and go. 

That other group is a family on a travelling ex- 
cursion, who, satisfied with a frugal repast, give it 
a zest by ordering some dishes which are quite new 
to them, and evidently greatly enjoy the sight of 
all that goes on around. 

Close by them you see a Parisian couple, easily 
distinguished by the hat and shawl hung up over 
their heads. You can see that they have not had a 



word to say to each other for a long time, and are 
probably waiting till it is time to go to the theatre, 
where the odds are that one of them will go to 

Beyond them are two lovers. You conclude 
they are so, from the anxious attentions of one, 
the sly coquetry of the other, and the love of 
good cheer shown by both. Pleasure sparkles in 
their eyes; and from their choice of dishes, the 
present is sufficient to guess the past and foresee 
the future. 

At the centre tables are those who dine here 
daily. They know all the waiters by name, the 
latter telling them in confidence what dishes are 
fresh and new. Those gentlemen are the stock or 
staple customers, forming a nucleus or centre for 
others to gather round, like the decoy ducks used 
in Brittany to attract the wild ones. 

You also meet there people known to everybody 
by sight, and by sight only. They are quite at 
their ease, and frequently try to enter into conversa- 
tion with their neighbours. They belong to a large 
class met only in Paris, who, without property, 
capital, or industry, spend a deal of money. 

Finally, you may see here and there some 
foreigners, especially English, who stuff themselves 
with double portions of meat, order the most ex- 


pensive dishes, drink the most heady wines, and 
require assistance to leave the table. 

Among the artists to whom is due the reputation 
of the Parisian restaurant, are Beauvilliers, Meot, 
Kobert, Rose, Legacque, the Brothers Very, Henne- 
veu, and Baleine. 

Of these, the first-named, for more than fifteen 
years the principal restaurateur in Paris, 
BeauvU- deserves a special notice. During the 
^^^ ' successive occupations of that town by the 
allied armies in 1814 and 1815, carriages of all 
kinds and nations were constantly to be seen before 
his hotel; and, becoming acquainted with the 
officers of the different foreign troops, he was at 
last able to speak to them sufficiently well in their 
Own tongue. 

Beauvilliers had a prodigious memory. It is said 
that he has recognized and welcomed men who had 
dined in his house once or twice some twenty years 

When paying attention to a party of rich men, 
he used to point out any dish that might be passed 
over, some other that must be overtaken, or perhaps 
order a third which nobody had yet thought of, at 
the same time sending for wine from a cellar of 
which he himself kept the key — all in so pleasant 
and courteous a manner that such orders seemed so 


many personal favours on his part. On his with- 
drawal, however, the bloated bill of costs and the 
bitterness of the mauvais quart d'heure de Bdhelais 
gave ample proof that they had been dining in a 
Parisian restaurant. 

Beauvilliers made, unmade, and remade his for- 
tune several times, though it does not appear that 
he left much to his heirs. 

At the table of our best restaurants, such as 
Verbs', or the Freres Proven5aux,* our pj^^g^ 
gastronome finds from the carte that he arestau- 
has at his disposal, as the elements of his 
dinner, at least — 

12 soups. 

24 side dishes. 

15 to 20 entries of beef. 
20 entries of mutton. 
30 of game and fowl. 

16 to 20 of veal. 

12 of pastry. 

24 of fish. 

15 roasts. 

50 entremets, 

50 entries of dessert. 

Moreover, the fortunate consumer may moisten 

* The Brothers Very and the Freres Proven^aux (sometimes 
called the Trois Freres), both in the Palais Eoyal, are still great 
names to conjure with in gastronomy. When the allied monarchs 
held Paris in 1814, the two brothers Very supplied their table for 
the daily charge of £120, not including wine ; and in P^e la 
Chaise, on a magnificent monument erected to one of them, we 
read that his '' whole life was consecrated to the useful arts.'* 

For a grand dinner and the best wines, the Trois Frbres has 
for generations held a foremost place, the attraction being 
enhanced by the luxury and style of the accessories and sur- 
roundings, and by the convenience of rooms for dancing. 


that long list with some thirty kinds of wine, accord- 
ing to his choice, from Burgundy to Tokay or Cape^ 
and twenty or thirty sorts of perfumed liqueurs, 
without counting coffee and such mixtures as punchy 
negus, and so forth. 

Of the yarious constituent parts of an artistic 
dinner, France herself supplies the principal ; 
others are in imitation of English ones ; others como 
from Germany, as the sauerkraut; others from 
Spain; others from Italy, as macaroni, parmesan, 
Bologna sausages, polenta liqueurs; others from 
Bussia, as cayiare, smoked tongues ; others from 
Holland, as cod, cheese, pickled herring, anisette, 
curagoa; others from Asia, as rice, sago, karrik, soy; 
others from America, as potatoes, ananas, chocolate, 
vanilla, sugar. The preceding list is a suflScient 
proof of the proposition advanced in another part 
of this work, that a Parisian dinner is thoroughly 
cosmopolitan, every country in the world furnishing 
some of its products. 

( 235 ) 




M. DE BoROSE lost his parents when young, and then 
became possessor of an income of forty thousand 
francs. Being carefully educated, he became, after 
passing through the terrible times of the Kevolution, 
an authority in matters of taste, especially in all 
that concerns the love of good living. ^ 

M, de Borose used to say that gastronomy i& 
nothing but a combination of reflection, to appreciate, 
with science, to make perfect. And he quoted 
Epicurus : " Is man, then, made to despise the gifts 
of Nature ? Does he only feome into this world to 
gather bitter fruits? For whom are those flowers 
which the gods cause to grow at the feet of mortals ? 
It is a compliance with the will of Providence to 
give way to our various natural inclinations; our 
duties come from its laws, our desires from its in- 
spirations." He used to say also, with Professor 
Sebusien, that good things are intended for the 
good ; otherwise we should fall into the absurdity of 
thinking that God has created them for the wicked. 

A little time, reflection and experience soon 


taught M. de Borose that the number of dishes 
being pretty well determined by custom, a good 
dinner is not much dearer than a bad one ; that for 
less than £20 more a year a man need noA'^er drink 
anything but the best wines; and that everything 
depends on the will of the master, on the order he 
keeps in his household, and the tone and energy 
which he imparts to the establishment generally. 

Starting from these fundamental points, the 
dinners of Berose assumed a character and import- 
ance quite classical. Kenown celebrated the enjoy- 
ment of the guests, and men were proud of having 
been invited ; some even praised the attractions of 
his table who had never sat at it. 

He never asked those so-called gastronomes who 
are mere gluttons, whose belly is an abyss, and who 
eat anywhere, of anything, and to any amount. 
All his guests were men who, whilst devoting to the 
business in hand all the necessary time and atten- 
tion, never forgot that there is a moment when 
reason says to appetite, Non procedes amjplius — ^not a 
step further. 

Twice a week he invited ladies, taking care so to 
arrange matters that each of them should have the 
exclusive attention of a chivalrous guest. On the 
first Monday of every, month the parish clergyman 
had his place at the table, sure of being received 


with respect and esteem; and he is said to have 
more than once expressed a wish that every month 
had four first Mondays. 

With reference to tradesmen, he only trusted 
those who were honourable and just in their deal- 
ings with all, treating them as friends, and some- 
times giving them assistance or advice. He made 
the fortune of his wine-merchant, by giving out that 
he was never guilty of adulteration — a virtue rare 
even at Athens in the times of Pericles, and by no 
means common in the nineteenth century. 

Those details niay be forgiven in the case of 
M. Berose, who did much to refine gastronomic taste 
and elevate its tone, especially on reading the 
closing scene which so lately saddened all who 
knew him. About the middle of last March he 
was invited to spend the day in the country with 
several friends. It was one of those unseasonably 
warm days, a forerunner of spring, and when they 
were out walking the sky suddenly became gloomy, 
and a frightful storm burst forth with thunder, rain 
and hail. Everybody ran for safety as they could 
and where they could, and M. de Berose sought 
shelter under a poplar whose lower branches seemed 
to offer some protection. 

Ill-fated shelter I The tree's lofty top rose to the 
clouds as if to find the electric fluid, and the rain 


falling down the branches serred as its conductor. 
Suddenly a fearfnl explosion was heard, and the 
nnfortnnate pleasure-seeker fell dead without haying 
time to breathe a sigh. 



Gastebea is the tenth Muse ; she presides over the 
enjoyments of taste. 

She might lay claim to the empire of the xmiverse, 
for the universe is nothing without life, and all that 
has life requires nourishment. 

She takes special pleasure in those rising grounds 
where the vine flourishes, or those which the orange- 
tree perfumes, in the thickets where the truffle 
grows, in the countries which abound in game and 

When she deigns to show herself, she assumes 
the form of a young girl, her zone the colour of 
fire, her hair black, her eyes azure-blue, and her 
figure and movements full of grace. Fair as the 
goddess of love, she is above all sovereignly 

Of all places where Gasterea has altars, that 


wliich slie prefers is the town, queen of the world, 
which the Seine imprisons between the marbles of 
his palaces. 

The worship of the goddess is simple. Every- 
day, at sunrise, her priests come to remove the 
crown of flowers which adorns her statue, plactog 
on it a new one, and singing in chorus one of the 
many hymns by which poetry has celebrated the 
boons which the immortal sheds abundantly upon 
the human race. 


Whoeveb has read me thus far with that attention 
which I have sought to excite and sustain, must 
have seen that in writing I had a double object in 
view, never lost sight of. The first was to lay down 
the fundamental theory of Gastronomy, so that she 
should take her place amongst the sciences in that 
rank to which she has an incontestable right. The 
second, to define with precision what must be 
understood by love of good living, so that for all 
time coming that social quality might be kept apart 
from gluttony and intemperance, with which many 
have absurdly confounded it 


The misleadiBg double use of the term was intro- 
duced by some intolerant moralists, who, being 
misled by an unrestrained zeal, were ever seeing 
excess where there was only well-regulated enjoy- 
ment; for the treasures of nature have not been 
created to be trod under foot. The blunder was 
afterwards propagated by some unsocial gram- 
marians, who defined with their eyes shut, and swore 
in verba magistri. It is time such an error were put 
a stop to, now that the matter is clear ; for at the 
present day there is nobody who has not a slight 
dash of the gastronome in his composition, and does 
not plume himself upon it ; there is nobody who 
would not feel grossly insulted by being accused of 
gluttony, voracity, or intemperance. 

These two cardinal points having been fully 
treated, I might have laid my pen aside; but in 
fathoming subjects which touch everything, many 
things have come into my mind, such as some 
original anecdotes, witticisms, and similar side- 
dishes, which could not have been inserted in the 
theoretical part without breaking the continuity^ 
but will, I trust, yield the reader some pleasure as a 

A little mixture of something relating to my own 
personal history could not be avoided; but that 
element leaves room neither for discussion nor 



commentary. My principal recompense for the 
labour of this work is to find myself thus repro- 
duced in company with my friends. It is more 
especially when we are about to lose life that the 
"I" and "me" become dear to us; and if one 
talks of himseH he must mention his friends. 




EvEBTBODY knows that for twenty years Madame E * 
lias occupied the throne of beauty in Paris unchal- 
lenged. It is also well-known that she is extremely 
charitable, taking interest in most of those schemes 
whose object is to console and assist the wretched. 

Wishing to consult M. le Cure on something con- 
nected with that subject, she called upon him at 
five o'clock one afternoon, and was astonished to 
find him already at table. She thought every- 
body in Paris dined at six, not knowing that the 
ecclesiastics generally begin early because they 
take a light collation in the evening. 

Madame E. was about to retire, but the cure 
begged her to stay, either because the matter they 
were to talk about need not prevent him dining, or 
because a pretty woman is never a mar-feast for any 

* This lady has been already referred to more than once— 
notably in Chapter XIV. 


man; or, perhaps, becanse he bethought himself that 
somebody to talk to was all that was wanted to con- 
vert his dining-room into a gastronomic Elysium. 

The table was laid with a neat white cloth, some 
old wine sparkled in a crystal decanter, the white 
porcelain was of the choicest quality, the plates 
had heaters of boiling water under them, and a 
servant, demure but neat, was in attendance. 

The repast was a happy mean between the frugal 
and the luxurious. Some fish soup had just been 
removed, and there was now on the table a salmon- 
trout, an omelette, and a salad. 

" My dinner shows you what perhaps you did not 
know," said the pastor with a smile, "that, ac- 
cording to the laws of the Church, meat is forbidden 
to-day." The visitor bowed her assent, but at the 
same time, as a private note informs me, slightly 
blushed, which, however, by no means prevented 
the cure from eating. 

Operations were already begun upon the trout, its 
upper side being fully disposed of; the sauce gave 
proof of a skilful hand, and the] pastor's features 
betokened inward satisfaction. 

That dish removed, he attacked the omelette, 
which was round, full-bellied, and cooked to a 
nicety. At the first stroke of the spoon there ran 
out a thick juice, tempting both to sight and smell; 

THE cure's, omelette. 245 

the dish seemed full of it, and my dear cousin con- 
fessed that her mouth watered. 

Some signs of natural sympathy did not escape 
the cure, accustomed to watch the passions of men ; 
and, as if in answer to a question which Madame E. 
took great care not to put, " This is a tunny ome- 
lette," said he. " My housekeeper has a wonderful 
knack at them. Nobody ever tastes them without 
complimenting me." " I am not at all astonished," 
replied the lady visitor ; " for on our worldly tables 
there is never seen an omelette half so tempting." 

This was followed by the salad — a finishing item 
which I recommend to the use of all who have 
faith in my teaching, for salad refreshes without 
fatiguing, and strengthens without irritating. I 
usually say il renews one's youth. 

The dinner did not interrupt their conversation. 
Besides the matter in hand, they spoke of the events 
of the time, the hopes of the Church, and other 
topics. The dessert passed, consisting of some Sept- 
moncel cheese, three apples, and some preserved 
fruit ; and then the servant placed on a small table 
a cup of hot mocha, clear as amber, and filling the 
room with its aroma. . • 

Having sipped his coffee, the cure said grace. " I 
never drink spirits," he said as they rose ; " it is a 
superfluity I offer to my guests, but personally 


reserve as a resource for old age, should it pleas© 
God that I live so long." 

In the mean time, six o'clock had arrived, and 
Madame E., hurrying home, found herseK late for 
dinner, and several friends waiting for her whom she 
had invited for that day. I was one of the party, 
and thus came to hear of the cure's omelette ; for 
our hostess did nothing but speak of it during 
dinner, and everybody was certain it must have 
been excellent. 

Thus it is that, as a propagator of truths, I feel it 
my duty to make known the preparation ; and I give 
it the more willingly to all lovers of the art, that I 
have not been able to find it in any cookery-book. 

Hash up together the roes of two carp, carefully 
^ ^ bleached, a piece of fresh tunny and a 
omelette little minced shallot; when well mixed, 
throw the whole into a saucepan with a 
lump of the best butter, and whip it up till the 
butter is melted. That constitutes the speciality of 
the omelette. 

Then, in an oval dish, mix separately a lump of 
butter with parsley and chives, and squeezing over 
it the juice of a lemon, place it over hot embers in 

Next, complete the omelette by beating up 
twelve eggs, pouring in the roes and tunny, and 


stirring till all is well mixed ; then, when properiy 
finished, and of the proper form and consistence, 
spread it out skiKully on the oval dish which you 
have ready to receive it, and serve up to be eaten at 

This dish should be reserved for breakfasts of 
refinement, for connoisseurs in gastronomic a word of 
art — ^those who understand eating, and ^^^®®- 
where all eat with judgment ; but, especially, let it 
be washed down with some good old wine, and you 
will see wonders. 


One day I was conducting two ladies to Melun, 
and on reaching Montgeron, after several hours' 
travelling, we felt hungry enough to eat an ox. 
Alas! the inn we stopped at, though looking decent 
enough, had nothing but an empty larder. Three 
stage-coaches and two post-chaises had been before 
us, and, like the Egyptian locusts, had devoured 

Looking into the kitchen, however, I saw turning 
on the spit a leg of mutton, the very thing wanted. 
The longing glances of the ladies were in vain^ for 


it belonged to three Englishmen who had brought 
it, and were now patiently waiting, chatting over a 
bottle of champagne, 

" But, surely," said I, in a mixed tone of annoy- 
ance and entreaty, *^ you might fry us those eggs in 
the gravy of this roast : what with that and a cup 
of coflfee with country cream to it, we shall be 
resigned to our fate." "Certainly," answered the 
cook ; " the gravy I have a right to dispose of, and 
in two minutes you'll have your dish." 

Whilst he was breaking the eggs I went to the 
fireplace, and with my travelling knife made in the 
forbidden gigot a dozen deep wounds, letting every 
drop of the gravy run out. Then, watching the 
preparation of the eggs, lest anything should spoil 
my plot, I took possession of the dish and carried 
it to our room. We of course made a capital meal, 
laughing loudly every time we thought of ourselves 
having the best part of the roast, and our friends, 
the English, chewing the remainder. 


DuRiKG my stay in New York, I sometimes spent 
an evening at Little's Hotel, a sort of cafe-^estav/rant 
where one could have a basin of turtle-soup in the 


forenoon, and at night all the usual American re- 

My usual companions there were the Viscount 
la Massue and Jean-Eodolphe Fehr, emigrants like 
myself. We treated ourselves to a welsh-rabbit, 
washed down with ale or cider, and spent the even- 
ing quietly, talking about our misfortunes, our en- 
joyments, and our hopes. 

I made the acquaintance there of a Mr. Wilkinson 
(a Jamaica planter), and a friend of his, who accom- 
panied him everywhere. The latter, whose name 
I never heard, was one of the most singular men I 
ever met ; he had a square-shaped face and quick 
eyes, seemed to watch everything carefully, but 
never spoke, and his features showed as little change 
as those of a blind man. Only, when he heard a 
merry joke or something humorous, his face ex- 
panded, and shutting his eyes and opening a mouth 
as wide as the lower end of a trumpet; he gave vent 
to a sort of horse-laugh. As for Mr. Wilkinson, who 
was a man of about fifty, he had all the manners 
and bearing of a gentleman. 

One evening, then, Mr. Wilkinson invited us to 
dine with him, and on my accepting for myself and 
my two friends, the appointment was made for three 
o'clock next day. Just before leaving, however, the 
waiter told me quietly that the planters had ordered 



a good dinner, with special directions about the 
wine and spirits, their intention being to test our 
drinking powers, for the big-mouthed msm had 
said that he was sure he could himself put the 
Frenchmen under the table. 

Had a sense of honour allowed, this news would 
have made me back out of the engagement. But 
what would the English planters have said of such 
apparent cowardice ? Hence the maxim of Marshal 
Saxe was adopted: "Since the wine is drawn it 
must be drunk." 

Next morning I sent for Fehr and La Massue to 
give them formal warning, and advised them to 
drink in small draughts, or even contrive cleverly 
to get rid of their wine sometimes without drinking, 
and above all to eat slowly and moderately. More- 
over, we shared between us a plate of bitter almonds^ 
which I had heard praised for their property of 
coimteracting alcoholic fumes. 

Thus armed, physically and morally, we kept our 
appointment with the Jamaicans, and soon after, 
dinner was served. It consisted of an enormous 
joint of beef and a turkey, with vegetables, followed 
by a salad and a tart. We drank in the French 
fashion ; that is to say, the wine was served from the 
commencement. It was good claret, then much 
cheaper there than in France, because so many 


cargoes had arrived that the market was too fully 
stocked. Mr, Wilkinson did the honours of the 
table admirably; his friend seemed buried in his 
plate, never saying a word, and sometimes looking 
at us sideways, or laughing with the corners of hi« 

I was delighted with miy two acolytes. La 
Massue, in spite of his great digestive powers, spent 
as much time over his meat as a finicking young 
lady, and Fehr from time to time cleverly smug- 
gled his wine into a beer-pot which stood at the end 
of the table. 

After the claret came port, and after the port 
madeira, to which we stuck for a long time. On 
the arrival of the dessert — consisting of a pat of 
butter, cheese, and cocoa and hickory nuts — toasts 
were drunk to the health of kings, the liberty of 
peoples, and the beauty of the ladies — especially 
Mr. Wilkinson's daughter Maria, the prettiest girl,, 
as he assured us, in the whole island of Jamaica. 

After the wine came the spirits, namely, rum,, 
brandy, and whisky, and with the spirits, songs. I 
saw we were in for it, and to avoid the spirits, 
I called for punch. The landlord himself, no doubt 
instructed beforehand, brought in a bowl large 
enough for forty. No such capacious drinking 
vessel is ever seen in France. 


Soon after, Mr. Wilkinson suddenly started to 
his feet, and began to sing loudly the national air, 
** Kule Britannia," but could never get over those 
two words ; his strength failed him ; he let himself 
fall back on his chair, and thence rolled under the 
table. His friend, seeing him in such a case, 
grinned one of his loudest horse-laughs, and, stoop- 
ing down to assist him, fell by his side. 

This unexpected denoument gave me inexpressible 
relief. Kinging for the landlord, I asked him "to 
«ee that the gentlemen were properly attended 
to," as the phrase was, and we drank with him to 
their health in a parting glass of the punch. Mean- 
time, the waiter, with assistants, had taken posses- 
sion of the vanquished, and were carrying them 
home, feet foremost, according to the English 
formula. The friend preserved the same absolute 
immobility, and Mr. Wilkinson was still trying to 
sing " Kule Britannia." 

Next day, seeing an account of our dinner in the 
New York papers, with the remark that the two 
Englishmen were ill, I went to pay them a visit. 
The friend I found stupefied with a severe attack of 
indigestion, and Mr. Wilkinson confined to his chair 
by an attack of gout. He seemed pleased with my 
visit, one of his remarks being, " My dear sir, you 
are very good company indeed, but too hard a 
drinker for us." 

( 253 ) 


The other day I saw an instance of the extreme 
imperturbability of members of the College of 

Paying a visit to my friend, General Bouvier, I 
found him walking up and down his room with a 
look of annoyance. 

« Here," said he, handing me a piece of paper, 
" give me your opinion of this ; you are a judge of 
those matters." 

I took the paper, and was astonished to see that 
it was an account of charges for medicines. 

" Faith ! " said I, " you know the custom of that 
body whose services you have engaged. It is very 
possible that the limits have been exceeded; but 
why do you wear an embroidered coat, three orders, 
and a laced hat ? " 

" Hold your tongue," said he impatiently ; " this 
charge is abominable. But you'll see my * scorcher ' 
presently, for I have sent for him, and he is 

As he spoke the door opened, and we saw a man 
of about fifty-five, carefully dressed, of tall stature, 
and composed demeanour. 

" Sir," said the general to him, " the bill you have 
sent me is a regular physician's account." 


The Dark Man. Sir, I am not a physician. 

Qeneral. And what, then, are yon, sir? 

The D. M. Sir, I am an apothecary. 

O. Well, Mr. Apothecary, your assistant must 
have told yo u 

The D. M. Sir, I have no assistant. 

O. Then what was that young man ? 

The D. M. Sir, he is a pupil. 

O. I wished to tell you, sir, that your drugs 

The D. M. I don't sell any drugs. 

(?. What, then, do you sell, sir ? 

The D. M, Sir, I sell medicine. 

There the discussion ended. The general, 
ashamed of having committed so many solecisms, 
and of being so backward in a knowledge of the 
pharmaceutical language, lost his self-possession, 
forgot what he had to say, and paid whatever they 


In a preceding chapter I have shown the immense 
advantages which France gained from good living 
during the events of 1815. Similarly, the emigrants 
reaped great profit from the universal propensity. 
While passing through Boston^ I taught Julien, 


the hotel-keeper, to make a fonduey such as I 
have described elsewhere. This dish, a novelty to 
the Americans, became so much the rage, that when 
I was in New York, he felt himself obliged, by way 
of thanks, to send me the rump of one of those 
beautiful little roe-bucks brought in winter from 
Canada, and it was found exquisite by the chosen 
cx>mmittee whom I convoked for the occasion. 

Collet, also, a French captain, made a small for- 
tune in New York about the same time, by making 
ices aud sherbets. The women, in particular, never 
tired of this new pleasure, being especially as- 
tonished that they could be kept so cold at a 
summer-heat of ninety degrees. 

Whilst staying at Cologne, I met a gentleman 
from Brittany who had done very well when in 
exile by keeping a dining-hou§e. 

I could multiply such examples indefinitely, but 
I prefer to tell the story of a Frenchman, of 
Limousin, who made his fortune in London by his 
skill in mixing a salad. Although his means were 
very limited, Albignac (so he was called, if I 
remember aright) went one day to dine in onp of 
the most famous taverns in London. Whilst he 
was finishing his succulent beef-steak, there were 
five or six young dandies of good family regaling 
themselves at a neighbouring table. One of them 


came to him, and said very politely, " Sir, it is said 
that your nation excels in the art of making salads ; 
will you be so good as oblige us by mixing one ? ** 

D'Albignac consenting, after a little hesitation, 
ordered all that he thought necessary for the ex- 
pected masterpiece, used his- best endeavours, and 
had the good luck to succeed. 

Whilst studying the ingredients, he answered 
frankly all questions about himself. He said he 
was an emigrant, and admitted, not without some 
natural shame, that he was receiving assistance from 
the English Government — ^a circumstance which no 
doubt authorized one of the young men to slip into 
the exile's hand a five-pound note, and insist on his 
keeping it. 

He had given his address, and some time after, he 
received a very civil note, requesting him to go and 
mix a salad in one of the finest houses in Grosvenor 
Square. D'Albignac arrived punctually, after fur- 
nishing himself with some special seasonings and 
maturing his plans. He had the good luck to suc- 
ceed again. 

The first party for whom he had manipulated had 
exaggerated the merits of his salad, and the second 
company made so much more noise about it, that 
d'Albignac's reputation was already made. He was 
known as the fashionable salad-maker, and soon had 



a gig, in order to keep his appointments, "with a ser- 
vant to bring in his mahogany-case, containing all 
the ingredients — snch as vinegars of different 
flavours, oik with or without a fruity taste, soy, 
caviare, truffles, anchovies, ketchups, gravies, and 
even hard-boiled eggs. 

Later, he got cases made to order, furnished them 
completely, and sold them by hundreds. In short, 
having diligently carried out his plans with sense 
and discretion, he came to realize a fortune of more 
than eighty thousand francs ; and returning to his 
own country when peace was restored, he invested 
sixty thousand in the public funds — then selling at 
fifty per cent. — and the rest in a small estate in 
Limousin, his native country. And for aught I 
know, he still lives there, contented and happy, 
because he has the wisdom to limit his desires* 


What excellent dinners we emigrants used to make 
at Lausanne, at the Gold Lion ! For two shillings 
there was passed in review before us three complete 
courses, including, amongst other dishes, good game 
from the neighbouring moimtains, and excellent 





fish from the lake of Geneva, all moistened with a 
cheap white wine, as clear as crystal, which would 
have made a hermit drink. 

At the head of the table sat a canon of Notre- 
Dame de Paris (would he were still alive !), who was 
perfectly at home, and before whom the innkeeper 
always placed the best dishes. He was good 
enough to pay me particular attention, and invited 
me to accompany him; but, hurried along by the 
course of circumstances then disturbing Europe, I 
set out for the United States, and found there a 
place of refuge, occupation, and repose. 

So well did I like America, that, on leaving it 
after three years' residence, all I prayed for was 
that I should not have less happiness in the 
Old World than I had had in the New. This 
success I mainly attribute to the fact that, on 
arriving amongst the Americans, I spoke as they 
did,* dressed as they did, and took great care not 
to show more knowledge of the world than they 

It was when thus peacefully quitting a country 

* * Dining one day at the same table with a Creole who had been 
two years in New York without knowing enough of English to 
ask for bread, I expressed my astonishment. **Bah!" said he, 
shrugging his shoulders ; ** do you think I should be so soft as 
to give myself the trouble of studying the language, of people who 
are so cross and suUen looking ? " * 


where I had been on friendly terms with everybody, 
and when in all creation there was not a gtory of 
featheriess biped more full of love for his * battie. 
fellow-creatures, that an incident occurred which 
was within an ace of involving me in a dire tragedy. 

It was on the steamboat at New York. There 
were several Frenchmen on board, including M. 
Gauthier, a man well known in Paris ; and having 
been much delayed at a critical time of the tide, 
they showed considerable impatience on finding that 
the only reason was that two American passengers 
had not yet come on board. I at first paid little 
attention to their grumbling, for I felt in low spirits, 
and was thinking of the lot in store for me in 
France, when all at once a startling uproar broke 
forth, and I saw that it was caused by Gauthier, who 
had given an American a box on the ear sufficient 
to have knocked down a rhinoceros. 

The confusion was frightful. The words ** French," 
** American," were bandied about till the quarrel 
became a national one, and it was seriously pro- 
posed that the whole of the Frenchmen should be 
thrown overboard. Being the likeliest, firom my 
build and height, to make resistance, the most 
prominent hostile Yankee came to me in warlike 
attitude. He was as high as a church-tower, and 
etout in proportion; but on taking his measure 


with steadfast and keen look, I saw that he was 
of a lymphatic temperament, with a bloated face, 
dull eyes, small head, and a woman's legs. 

" Do you think you can bully me ? " I shouted, 
swearing at him in the strongest terms of English 
invective. " I'll throw you overboard like a dead cat. 
K I find you too heavy, I'll cling to you with hands, 
legs, teeth, nails, everything ; and if I cannot do 
better, we'll go together to the bottom : my life is 
nothing to send such a dog to hell ! Come on ! " 

Of course, my figure, action, and attitude showed 
the truth of my words (for I felt as strong as a 
Hercules). My man seemed to lose an inch in 
height, his arms fell, and his face became longer. 
In short, he showed such evident marks of fear that 
one of his countrymen came to interpose. It was 
well he did so, for I was then an active fellow, and 
the inhabitant of the New World was pretty certain 
to feel that those who bathe in the Furens * have 
tough sinews and well-knit frames. 

Meantime, words of peace were already heard on 
another part of the deck, the arrival of the two 
unpunctual Americans diverted the attention of 
some, and already the ship was getting under way. 

* ' A clear stream that rises above Ronssillon, passes near BeUej, 
the author's native town, and falls into the Bhone above Peyrieux. 
The trout caught in it have pink-coloured flesh, while that of the 
pike is white as ivory.* 



A few minutes after, I went to look for Gauthier, 
in order to scold him for his hot-headedness, and 
found him sitting at the same table with the man 
he had slapped, in presence of a most attractive- 
looking ham, and a jug of beer about half a yard 


On my way to the Palais-Eoyal, one fine day in 
February, I halted before the shop of Madame 
Chevet, with whom I am rather a favourite, to look 
at a bunch of asparagus, the smallest stick of which 
was thicker than my forefinger. Forty francs was 
the price of it. " They are certainly very fine ones," 
said I, " but, at that price, scarcely any one except 
a king or prince could eat them." 

" You are mistaken," replied she ; " such choice 
ones as those never enter palaces, where they wish 
for what is fine and not what is magnificent. For 
all that, my bunch of asparagus will not stay long 
on hand. Why, at this very moment," she continued, 
^* there are at least three hundred wealthy men, 
financiers, capitalists, wholesale merchants, and so on, 
who must stay indoors for the gout, the fear of 
taking cold, the doctor's orders, and other causes 


which don't prevent them from eating. They sit 
by the fire, puzzling their brains to know what will 
please their palate^ and at last they send a footman 
on a voyage of discovery. He comes to my shop^ 
notices the asparagus^ makes his report^ and the 
bunch is carried off at. any price. Or perhaps a 
pretty young woman is passing with her lover, and 
says, * Just look, dear, at the beautiful asparagus ; 
let us buy the bundle — ^you know hov well my maid 
makes the sauce.* Or, again, there is a wager, or a 
christening-dinner, or a sudden rise in stocks, or a 
himdred other things." 

As she was talking, two big Englishmen who 
were passing, arm-in-arm, stopped near us, their 
faces expressing their admiration. One of them 
told her to wrap up the wonderful bunch, without 
even asking the price; then, after paying, put it 
imder his arm and carried it off, whistling " God 
save the King." 

** There, sir!" said Madame Chevet, laughing; 
<' that's another chance just as common as the rest^ 
though I have not mentioned it " 

( 263 ) 


Tms dish is of Swiss origin. It is a healthy, 
savoury, and appetizing dish, quickly dressed, and 
always convenient to place before unexpected guests. 
It has, besides, received honourable mention in a 
previous chapter, and I now proceed to give the 
official recipe. 

Take first as many eggs as there are guests, and 
then about a third as much, by weight of the best 
Gruyeres cheese, and the half of that of butter. 
Break and beat up the eggs well in a saucepan, then 
add the butter and the cheese,, grated or cut in small 
pieces ; place the saucepan on the fire, and stir with 
a wooden spoon till it is of a thick and soft con- 
sistence ; put in salt according to the age of the 
cheese, and a strong dose of pepper — that being a 
special attribute of this ancient dish. Finally, let 
it be brought to table on a hot dish, and, if some 
of your best wine is brought and the bottle p^ses 
briskly, you will see wonders.' 



I HAVE already twice referred to these two gas- 
tronomic categories, now no more existing. They 
will probably again appear towards the end of this 
present century, but such a phenomenon will require 
the coincidence of many future contingencies. 
Therefore, since they have disappeared more than 
thirty years, I, as a painter of manners, give them 
another touch of my brush. 

The main qualifications latterly for a chevalier 
were education and a good figure. Most of them 
were handsome fellows, and only too ready to draw 
their swords. Some would call you out if you only 
looked at them. 

One of the most famous in my time was the 
Chevalier de S. He sought a quarrel with a young 
man who had just arrived from Charolles, and they 
went to fight on the marshy ground which then lay 
behind the houses of the Chaussee d'Antin. 

From the action and attitude of the young 
stranger, S. soon saw that he had to do with no 
novice ; that, however, did not make him hesitate 
about resolving to try his mettle. But at the first 
movement he made, the CharoUian gave an un- 


expected lunge, so well delivered that the chevalier 
was dead before he had time to fall. One of his ' 
friends, who had been looking on, carefully and 
silently examined the wound of such startling effect, 
and the direction which the sword had taken. " A 
most artistic thrust," said he, as he turned to go ; 
**that young fellow is a master of fence." It was 
all the funeral oration the dead man got. 

Beside their common love for good living, there 
was this in common with the two categories. The 
that many- young men of good position ^^^^»' 
assumed the title on coming to Paris." The title of 
abbe was very convenient — with a slight modification 
of the dress one seemed quite professional ; then he 
could mix with all ranks in society ; he was invited 
everywhere, petted, sought after ; and there was no 
family without their abbe. 

Chevaliers will be found again, if, as we trust, 
peace is long continued; but unless there be a 
mighty change in the ecclesiastical administration, 
the race of abbes is irretrievably lost. The day of 
** sinecures " is over, and we have now gone back 
to the principles of the primitive Church — lenefcium 
propter offidvm. 



" My Lord Councillor," said a dowager marcliioness 
one day, from the head of her table, " which do you 
prefer. Burgundy or Bordeaux ? '* " That, my lady,'* 
answered the magistrate in an oracular tone, ^^ is a 
trial in which there is so much pleasure in the 
examination of both sides, that I always adjourn for 
a week the pronouncing of the verdict." 

It is people of sense and culture, especially, who 
hold the love of good living in honour. Other men 
are incapable of an operation consisting in a series 
of appreciations and judgments. The Countess de 
Genlis boasts, in her memoirs, of having taught a 
German lady, who had shown her attentions, the 
way to prepare as many as seven diflferent delicious 

M. de Pensey, late President of the Court of 
Cassation, a man whose wit and gaiety have braved 
the snows of age, once said, in 1812, to three of the 
most distinguished men of science of that period 
(Laplace, Chaptal and BerthoUet), " I consider the 
discovery of a new dish as a far more interesting 
event than the discovery of a star; for dishes 
increase the sum of human enjoyment, whereas 


there are always plenty of stars to be seen. I can- 
not consider the sciences as sufficientlj^ honoured or 
worthily represented until I see a cook, in virtue of 
his art, sit in the first class of the French Institute.'* 
"I have but a poor notion of that man," said 
Count M., speaking of a political candidate who had 
just got placed ; "he says he never tasted Eichelieu- 
pudding or heard of cutlets d la Sovbise" * 


When in my twenty-sixth year, a troop of amateur 
musicians, of whom I was leader, started at one 
o'clock on a fine summer's morning to go to St. 
Sulpice, an abbey placed on one of the highest 
mountains in niy native parish. It was the day of 
St. Bernard, the patron sainl, and we were to assist 
in the choir, and, as the abbot said in giving the 
invitation, have the honour of being the first 
Orpheuses to penetrate into those lofty regions. 

Arriving at daybreak, we were received by the 
father cellarer, who had a quadrangular face with & 

* Contrariwise, of an English Baron, a Q.C. and M.P. is re> 
ported to have said — ^^ He was a good man, an excellent man i 
he had the best melted butter I ever tasted in my life.*' 


xnonumental nose. ** Welcome, gentlemen," said 
the good father; "our venerable abbot is still in 
bed, but if you come with me you will see that you 
were expected." 

In the refectory we saw something to delight us. 
In the centre of a spacious table rose a pasty large 
as a church, flanked on the north by a quarter of 
cold veal, on the south by an enormous ham, on the 
east by a pyramid of butter, and on the west by a 
huge supply of artichokes done with hot sauce. 
We saw, besides, fruits of different kinds, plates, 
knives, silver spoons and forks, and at the end of 
the table the lay-brothers and servants, ready to 
wait upon us, astonished to find themselves up so 
early. In one comer of the refectory was seen a 
pile of more than a hundred bottles, constantly 
watered by a natural fountain. If the aroma of 
mocha did not please our nostrils, it was because, in 
those heroic times, coffee was not yet taken so early. 

In church, we performed a symphony at the 
offertory and an anthem at the elevation, finishing 
with a quartet of wind instruments. And, in 
spite of the sneers cast upon amateur music, truth 
obliges me to say that we got through it pretty 

After receiving much praise from the fathers and 
thanks from the abbot, we sat down to dinner. It 


was served in the style of the fifteenth century: 
few side dishes, few nicknacks, but an excellent 
choice of meat, wholesome stews, and, above all, 
vegetables of a flavour unknown in the lower 
regions. We wished for nothing. 

There was no lack of liqueurs, but the coffee, 
especially deserves mention. It was wonderfully 
clear, well-flavoured, and hot ; but, more than that,, 
it was not handed round in those diminished vessels 
termed " cups *' on the banks of the Seine, but in 
handsome and capacious bowls, into which the thick 
lips of the good fathers plunged at pleasure, absorb- 
ing the refreshing beverage with peculiar sounds of 

After vespers, during which we executed between 
the psalms some music I had composed for the 
occasion, we went to enjoy the mountain air, which 
not only cheers the spirits, but stimulates the 

By the time we entered again, it was late, and 
the abbot having said good-night to all, we began 
to spend an evening of considerable gaiety, the 
fathers being then allowed fuller liberty. Every 
day is not St. Bernard's, as the abbot said. 

About nine o'clock supper was served : a supper, 
in art and refinement, several ages in advance of the 
dinner* Then^ towards the close of the evening. 



some one called aloud, '^Father cellarer, what's 
come of your dish ? " " You are perfectly right," 
replied the good brother; 'Tm not cellarer for 

Leaving the room, he quickly came back with 
three attendants, one carrying a quantity of buttered 
toast, and the other two loaded with a table bearing 
a bowl of burning brandy — ^in fact, a sort of punch. 
This arrival was received with acclamation, and 
ample justice done to it; and as the abbey clock 
sounded midnight, each of us retired to his room to 
enjoy that sweet sleep to which the toils of the day 
inclined and entitled him. 


One day, mounted on my good horse Joy, I was 
crossing the smiling slopes of the Jura. It was in 
the worst days of the Eevolution, and I was on my 
way to Dole, to see the, representative Prot, and get 
from him a safe-conduct which might prevent me 
from going to prison, and thence, probably, to the 

Halting at an inn in the. village of Mont-sous- 
Vaudrey, I looked into the kitchen, after seeing to 


my nag's comforts, and found something to delight 
the eyes of a traveller. A spit was turning before a 
glowing fire, admirably furnished with quails, royal 
quails; and close by, I saw ready cooked one of 
those plump leverets, unknown to men in town, the 
perfume of which would fill a church. 

" Good I " said I to myself, cheered at the sight ; 
"I am not entirely abandoned by Providence. A 
traveller may gather a flower by the wayside ; time 
enough afterwards to talk of dying." 

To my grievous disappointment I found that what 
I saw was for some gentlemen of the law who had 
been engaged near the village as legal experts. For 
me there was nothing but potato soup, and the beef 
which had been boiled in it, with some shoulder of 
mutton and haricots. That tempting bill of fare 
which I had fondly imagined to myself only made 
me feel more desolate, and I was again overwhelmed 
with my misfortunes. 

I soon, howeveip, regained courage, for on sending 
a message to them, the gentlemen said they would 
be delighted to have me at the same table. And 
what a dinner we made ! I remember particularly 
a chicken fricassee, richly dowered with truffles, 
sufficient to have renewed the youth of Tithonus. 
The dessert consisted of vanilla cream, some choice 
cheese, and fruit ; and we moistened the whole, first 



with a light pink-coloured wine, then with some 
hermitage, and afterwards with some sof fc and gene- 
rous wine of a straw-colour. 

The excellence of the dinner was surpassed by it» 
gaiety. After the events of those days had been 
discussed, not without some circumspection, we got 
as intimate as boon-companions. Stories were told 
and songs were sung; and, strange enough, I actually 
composed an impromptu for the occasion, which was, 
of conrse, immensely applauded. Here it is : — 

In trayelling what joy to find 
Some boon-companions to our mind ; 

'Tis tme Elysium ! 
With such good fellows, frank and free, 
— ^Not caring what should come, — 
rd spend the time right merrily, 
For four nights, or 

A fortnight here ; 
One month, or 
A twelvemonth clear • 
And bless the gods for such good cheer. 

The reader will admit that any man who, with 
the Eevolutionists dogging his steps, could thus 
amuse himself, must have had the he^d and heart 
of a Frenchman. 

My new friends insisted on my staying to spend 
the evening, at least> but I at last convinced them 
that my journey was by no means one of pleasure. 
Should any of them still live, and this record isl\ 


into their hands, I would have them believe that 

after more than thirty years I now write these words 

with the most lively feelings of gratitude. 

On reaching Dole, I was by no means favourably 
received by M. Prot. He seemed to regard me with 
suspicion, and I was glad to get off without being 
arrested. He was not exactly a bad man, but being 
of small capacity, he did know how to employ the 
formidable power put in his hands — he was like a 
child armed with the club of Hercules. 

M. Amondru, however, whose name I have great 
pleasure in mentioning, succeeded, though with con- 
siderable difficulty, in getting him to accept an 
invitation to supper. Madame Prot also came ; and, 
on paying my respects to her, I soon found (oh, 
happiness unlooked for !) that she was passionately 
fond of music; and in an instant, as it were, our 
hearts beat in unison. She spoke to me of books 
on musical composition — ^I knew them all; she spoke 
to me of the most fashionable operas — I had them 
by heart; she named the most famous singers — 
I had seen nearly all of them. She could have 
talked for ever, not having for a long time met 
any one with whom she could discuss her favourite 

After supper she sent for some of her music-books. 
She sang, I sang, we sang. I never put more soul 



into my music, never had more enjoyment in it. 
M. Prot had already several times spoken of going, 
but she paid no heed^ till at last we finished in 
grand style by singing the duet, " Vous souvient-il 
de cette fete ? " in " La Fausse Magie.'* 

Now was the moment of parting. " Citizen," said 
Madame Prot to me, " no one who has cultivated 
the fine arts as you have done can betray his 
country. I know your object is to get something 
from my husband. You shall have it, I promise 


On this speech, so consoling to me, I kissed her 
hand with a full heart. Next morning I received 
my safe-conduct, duly signed and magnificently 
sealed, and thus was accomplished the object of my 
journey. I returned homewards with head erect; 
and thanks to Harmony, lovely daughter of heaven, 
my ascension was for a good number of years 

( 275 ) 


No verse, you know, Maecenas, can live long 
Writ by a water-cbinker. Since the day 
When Bacchus took us poets into pay 
With fauns and satyrs, the celestial Nine 
Have smelt each morning of last evening's wine» 
The praises heaped by Homer on the bowl 
At once convict him as a thirsty soul : 
And father Ennius ne'er could be provoked 
To sing of battles till his lips were soaked, 
" Let temperate folk write verses in the hall 
Where bonds change hands, abstainers not at all ;** 
So ran my edict : now the clan drinks hard. 
And vinous breath distinguishes a bard. ^ '' 

Conington's Horace. 

Did time allow, I should have extracted and classi- 
fied all the poetry of epicures, from the days of 
the ancient Greeks and Komans to our own time, 
arranging it historically, to show how speech or 
literature as a fine art is intimately allied to 

The following air is by Motin, said to be the first 
in France to write drinking songs. It smacks of 
the good old six-bottle times^ and does not lack 
poetic ardour — 


A tavern is the home for me ! 
There I live joUily and free^ 
And wish no better place. 



Each 'want supplied, I Hto in state : 
The crockery seems of silver plate 1 
The napkins finest lace I 

"When summer's sun is glowing hot, 
Mine inn's a pleasant, sheltered spot, 

There is not such another. 
In winter, nothing I desire . 
When cosy by its parlour firo. 

Though bleak and keen the weather. 

Our patron Bacchus we extol. 
Whose noble gift inspires the soul ; 

Man's greatest boon is wine I ^ 

Let no good-hearted fellows shrink, 
For they become, whene'er they drink. 

Like angels, all divine t 

The wine upon me smiles, and I 
Fondly caress it in reply : * 

(Dull care — I then defy it !) 
Our love is mutual and strong ; 
So when I take it, then, ere long, 

I'm overtaken hy it I 

My hearty prayer, till I bo dead, 
Is that the white wine and tho red 

Within me find good lodgment. 
But if they show a fighting mood. 
And cannot live as brothers should, 

Expulsion is my judgment I 

The next is by the professor himself^ who has also 
set it to music. He shrinks, however, from having 
his ^compositions published, notwithstanding the 
pleasure he should have in seeing himself on all 
pianos. By a happy coincidence, it can also be sung 
to the air of " Vaudeville du Figaro. 



FOETBT. 277 


The smiles of Glory we despise ; 

Her promises hs^ve lured us long ; , 
And History, compact of lies, 

A tangled wob of crime and wrong. 
Drinking's the study for the wise I 

Then drink this wine which brightly glances : 
Our sires extolled it — age enhances I 

Astronomy I've thrown aside ; 

Among the stars I lost my way. 
And Chemistry too long I tried, 

It cost me more than I could pay. 
Gastronomy is now my pride ; 

Its studies all my time employ : 
Good Living gives us genuine joy I 

When young I read both mom and even, 

Which soon grey hair and wrinkles brought ; 
And all the Grecian sages seven, 

Of sense or wisdom nothing taught ; 
To Idlesse now my hours are given : 
Lounging is your true employment 
To yield philosophers enjoyment. 

Medicine once, both night and day, 
' I studied with devoted faith ; 
But Medicine still, do what she may, 
Can only smooth the way to death. 
'Tis Cookery now on which I lay 

My fondest hopes : its powers divines t 
Have proved it Art of arts the Finest I 

But all such mental work must tire. 
And therefore, at the close of day, 
To cheer my studies, and inspire 

Fresh gaiety, I homage pay 
To Love and Beauty — spite the ire 

Of prudes and bigots : merry Cupid I 
Delight of all that are not stupid ! 


As a finale, I give some verses belonging to the 
chapter on " Death.'* I have tried to set them to 
music, but have not succeeded to my mind^ and 
therefore bequeath that task to another. 


Through aU my frame life ebbs apaoe ; 

Sight dims; Vm. chiU in every part. 
My wife, with sad and tear-stained face, 

Lays trembling hand upon my heart. 
Already friends and kindred dear 

Have called to bid the last good-byo; 
The doctor's left; our pastor's here ; 

And now I die. 

I wish to pray, but thought is gone ; 

To speak, but lips can form no sound ; 
I hear a faint and ringing tone ; 

And something seems to hover round. 
All now is dark. My weary breast 

Exhausts itself to heave a sigh. 
Scarce by these icy lips expressed ; 

Ah 1 now I die. 


You, the first parents of the human race, who 
ruined yourselves for an apple, what would you 
have done for a turkey done with truffles ? but in 
Eden there were neither cooks nor confectioners. — 
How I pity you I 



Ye mighty kings who brought haughty Troy to 
ruins, your prowess will be handed down from age 
to age, but your table was scanty. With nothing 
but a joint of beef or a chine of pork, you knew not 
the charms of a matelote^ or the delights of a 
chicken fricassee. — How I pity you ! 

You, Aspasia, Chloe, and others whose forms the 
Grecian chisel has immortalized to the despair of 
modem belles, never did your charming mouths 
inhale the sweetness of a scented meringue; your 
ideas scarcely rose above gingerbread. — ^How I pity 

You, gentle priestesses of Vesta, burdened at 
once with so many honours and with the dread of 
such dreadful punishments, if only you had tasted 
those delightful syrups, preserved fruits, and ice 
creams of various flavour, the marvels of our age ! 
— How I pity you ! 

You, invincible Paladins, renowned by the min- 
strels, never — after vanquishing giants, delivering 
fair ladies, or exterminating armies — never did a 
black-eyed captive offer you the foaming champagne 
or a goblet of Madeira : you had to content your- 
selves with ale and some poor, herb-flavoured wine. 
— How I pity you ! 

You, abbots and bishops, who dispensed the favours 
of heaven, and you, the dreaded Templars, who 


armed yourselves for the extennination of the 
Saracens, you knew nothing of the sweet, restoring 
influence of our modem chocolate, nor of the 
thought-inspiring bean of Arabia. — ^How I pity 

You, too, gastronomes of the present day, who 
dream of some new dish to flatter your palled appe- 
tites, even you I pity, because you cannot enjoy the 
discoveries which science has in store for the year 
1900, such as contributions drawn from the mineral 
kingdom, and liqueurs produced by the pressure of 
a hundred atmospheres ; nor will you ever see the 
importations to be brought by voyagers yet unborn, 
from distant lands still unknown or unexplored I 





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